Taxi please, close to home, summer in the city, at Madison Square Park to see the Christine Iglesias installation: Landscape and Memory
On June 3. 2022. the Annual Symposium of the Madison Park Conservancy met to explore the topic of Unearthing Public Art. From his first earthwork, Michael Heizer. the grandfather of all earth works, brought the childhood fascination of ‘playing in the sand’ to entirely new levels. His large-scale sculptures, set in specific environments so as to create dialogue with the land, helped pioneer Earth or Land Art, a distinctly American art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This precedent has been explored by a multitude of land artists, who have brought attention to our ecological wealth in the course of their practice its ethic of environmental restoration, preservation, and consciousness. Like Earth Day, Earth art is very much a product of its time.
Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián, Spain in 1956. Although American in spirit, the Earth Works movement has been adopted globally and one of the LRFA blog’s favorite artists in this category is Cristina Iglesias. Iglesias works with a wide range of materials, including steel, water, glass, bronze, bamboo, straw. She commenced a degree in Chemical Sciences at Universidad del País Vasco in 1976 before out in 1978 to practise ceramics and drawing in Barcelona. In 1980, she moved to London to study Sculpture at the Chelsea College of Art in London where she met her husband, the brilliant sculptor who stunned the art world with his figural installation at the Tate’s Turbine Hall, Juan Muñoz and other artists such as Anish Kapoor. She currently lives and works in Torrelodones, Madrid.
Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature and culturally site-specific influences. Through a language of constructed and natural forms rendered in various materials and ranging from suspended pavilions, latticed panels, passageways, and mazes, to walls imbued with texts and structural and vegetative forms, she poetically redefines space by confounding interior and exterior, organic and artifice, combining industrial materials with natural elements to produce unexpected new sensory sites for the viewer. Such is the case with landscape and memory.
Her work has been shown recently in solo exhibitions at Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Musée de Grenoble, France (2016); BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2014); a large retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid Spain (2013); and at Casa Franças, Rio de Janeiro (2013). Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan (2009); Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2003); Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto (2002); Guggenheim New York (1997); and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (1999).
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. Recent public commissions include Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters in London (2017) and the enormous permanent public commission, Tres Aguas – a Project for Toledo, Toledo,Spain (2014). In 2020 she was awarded the Royal Academy Architecture Prize, London.
Currently she exhibits in the States at the prestigious Marian Goodman gallery, New York, https://www.mariangoodman.com/artists/47-cristina-iglesias/
CHRISTINE IGLESIAS : LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY, MADISON SQUARE PARK, NEW YORK
The installation, entitled Landscape and Memory evokes the Park’s Buried Topography With Large-Scale Bronze Sculptures Set into Lawn, Flowing with Water.
There is a poignancy to the work to which the LRFA blog reacts deeply, to its simplicity and to the depth of its symbolism. When visiting the site at 23rd Street and Broadway, consider the forgotten terrains and geographic history of New York City in a new public art installation at Madison Square Park, marking her first major temporary public art project in the United States. Landscape and Memory places five bronze sculptural pools, flowing with water, into the park’s Oval Lawn, harkening back to when the Cedar Creek coursed across the land where the park stands today. Building on Iglesias’ practice of unearthing the forgotten and excavating natural history, Landscape and Memory resurfaces in the imaginations of contemporary viewers the now-invisible force of this ancient waterway. In the hustle and bustle of 23rd street, Iglesias has created a beautiful respite from our anxieties, and in our post-pandemic culture, an oasis of poetry, peace and fresh air in the middle of New York.
On view from June 1 through December 4, 2022, Landscape and Memory is complemented by a slate of interdisclipinary public programs, free and open to the public. Presented within and responding to the work, these include a summer music series curated with Carnegie Hall as well as performance programming organized in conjunction with The Kitchen. Cristina Iglesias is also the keynote speaker for the Conservancy’s annual public art symposium, held on Friday, June 3, 2022. This year’s program investigates the role of public art in shedding new light on buried histories, both metaphorically and physically.