Paul Black Reviews Cristina Iglesias: Phreatic Zones At Marian Goodman

Cristina Iglesias

Artlyst has attended Marian Goodman Gallery which is currently presenting an exhibition by Cristina Iglesias. This exhibition is the artist’s first solo presentation in London since her 2003 exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.

The artist has installed a totally immersive piece in the gallery. Transforming the space through the installation of three water-based works built into a raised floor, the usually silent gallery filled with the sound of flowing and trickling water. With this work the artist juxtaposes the architectural with natural forms. The stream-beds of Iglesias’s installational sculptures appear like a surface of tree roots, or the mineral build-ups of a cave, merging the architectural interior of the gallery with a natural exterior – intentionally confusing the languages of sculpture, installation and Architecture.

Image: Cristina Iglesias, Phreatic Zone II, 2015 Aluminium and water, photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Whereas the language of installation creates a universe where the viewer is God-like at its centre as part of the language of the work – intrinsically linked; sculpture is its own universe whereupon the viewer is external to the language of the work. But Iglesias’ work pushes the envelope of this particular rule; creating what is essentially a single installation via the creation of a slate-like floor. Raised, and paved, Iglesias has created continuity with the exterior pavement leading to Golden Square.

Image: Cristina Iglesias, Phreatic Zone I, 2015 Aluminium and water, photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The artist’s fountains are lined with cast aluminium, through which water flows, rises, falls, and rushes, flooding the organic forms on its bed then draining away. Iglesias creates a choreographed simulation of a natural process, the artifice of the urban architectural environment merges with the simulacra of naturally running water: a subverted fountain no longer maintaing a traditional aesthetic.

Image: Cristina Iglesias, Phreatic Zone II, 2015 Aluminium and water, detail, photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

These installational sculptures are kinetic and temporal works; the language is a dissolve between architecture, installation and sculpture, creating a sensory immersive environment which is also a dissolve between sculpture and installation. The streams allude to an unseen topography leading away from the gallery, to fictional installational spaces, unknown architectural forms. These micrososms and macrocosms return us to the relationship between viewer, installation, sculpture, architecture – and landscape. Organic and inorganic symbiosis.

About the artist:

Iglesias has participated in a number of international exhibitions and public commissions and has represented Spain at the 1986 and 1993 Venice Biennales and at the Sydney Biennale in 2012. In addition to the recent exhibition ‘Impresiones’ at Museo Casa de la Moneda, Madrid and ‘Pozos’ at Bodegas Cune, Haro (2015), her work recently exhibited in ‘On Reality’ with Thomas Struth at the Ivorypress Space, Madrid, and in the enormous permanent public commission ‘Tres Aguas – a Project for Toledo’, Toledo, Spain (2014). Her numerous solo exhibitions include most recently the large retrospective ‘Metonimia’, at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2013), ‘A Place of Reflection’, Casa Franças, Rio de Janeiro (2013) as well as previous solo shows at Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan (2009), Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2003), Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto, (2002), Guggenheim New York (1997) and Guggenheim Bilbao (1999), among others. Iglesias has an upcoming solo show at the Musée de Grenoble (2016).

Lead image: Cristina Iglesias, Phreatic Zone I, 2015 Aluminium and water, detail, photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Photos: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

CRISTINA IGLESIAS: Phreatic Zones – Marian Goodman – until 19 December 2015.


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