Interview: Angela de la Cruz

The Brief


Angela de la Cruz is a visual artist who combines painting and sculptural elements. A common theme of her art is the disrupting of gallery spaces; many of her works are intended to be placed on the floor, displayed in a doorway, or crammed into a corner. Her first solo exhibition in the UK, After, was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010. She has also received the John Moores Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award, a Spanish Association of Art Critics Award, and a Premio da Critica Galicia. She is represented in the UK by Lisson Gallery.

Which books would you recommend to our readers?
My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, and Quarantine by Jim Crace – both books are very innovative.

Which film would you recommend to our readers?
The Exterminating Angel, directed by Luis Buñuel. I admire the way that Buñuel exposes the bourgeoisie – a theme he uses in a lot of his films. I like the way he plays with bourgeois values, confronting and breaking them into pieces.
Which architectural work would you recommend to our readers?

The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, designed by Daniel Libeskind, is a beautiful, intriguing, and accessible piece of modern architecture.

Which choreographical work would you recommend to our readers?
The Land of Yes and the Land of No by Rafael Bonachela. The work explores the ways in which we process information as we move through urban spaces, taking in signs, warnings, and messages from the people, objects, and buildings around us.


The following questions relate to our Perspectives column, in which two writers respond to an artwork that they are experiencing for the first time.

Are artists always driven by personal experience?
Yes. Artists look at the world through their own experience, through their own eyes – and rightly so.
Can children make art?

Yes and no. Children create art, but not knowingly. Adults look at it and then make it into art through their discourse. According to the old philosophy, creative genius is inherent to a child.

Should art have a place in war?
It should certainly have a place in wartime. I think making art during a period of war helps people to express all kind of emotions and feelings about what is happening, while at the same time acting as witnesses for future generations.

States of the Arts

The following questions relate to our States of the Arts column, for which each article includes four artworks that share an association with a single nation or territory.

Which Albanian artist would you recommend to our readers?
Anri Sala, a visual artist. I saw a piece of his work in the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 2011 and was completely in awe.

Which Iranian artist would you recommend to our readers?
Abbas Kiarostami, an inspiring filmmaker. He had a down-to-earth vision and a beautiful way of filming that showed people’s everyday lives.

Which Polish artist would you recommend to our readers?
Roman Polanski, a film director. I really love his work, especially Knife in the Water. I am a great admirer of the way he uses his films to express the unexpected.

The art of discovery

The following questions relate to Silent Frame’s aim to celebrate the art of discovery.

Which artist do you most want others to discover, and why?
I have been looking again at the art of Raoul De Keyser. I like the simplicity of his work, and the sense of freedom and openness that it incites. It is also very intelligent, and shows his knowledge of the history of painting.

More to discover

Angela de la Cruz: Visit Angela de la Cruz's artist page on the Lisson Gallery website here. Watch the artist in conversation with Jenni Lomax and Greg Hilty here.

Today's recommendations: My Name Is Red (excerpt), Quarantine (excerpt), The Exterminating Angel (trailer), Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (information), The Land of the Yes and the Land of the No (trailer), Anri Sala (information).

Abbas Kiarostami (an introduction to the filmmaker, by Vox writers Todd VanDerWerff and Aja Romano), Roman Polanski (an excerpt from Roman Polanski: The Pocket Essential Guide, by Daniel Bird), Raoul De Keyser (obituary).

Read more: Visual art