Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will host a major exhibition of Spanish Artist Cristina Iglesias. The artist’s exhibition, entitled “Under and In Between,” surveys 20 years of captivating work from one of Spain’s most renowned artists and will run April 28 through Sept. 24, 2023.
Iglesias is a leading figure in the international art world, known for her sculptures that explore the relationship between architecture, landscape and nature. Her work often incorporates water, plants, and other natural materials to create immersive and thought-provoking viewer experiences. Iglesias’ installations and sculptures have been shown at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Bilbao and the Tate Modern in London, to name just a few of the esteemed galleries that have hosted her work.
“The art of Cristina Iglesias is designed to attune us to our surroundings,” said Meijer Gardens’ chief curator Suzanne Ramljak. “Subtly directing our attention with her multi-sensory works, Iglesias leads us into a deeper appreciation of both natural and built environments.”
Iglesias was born in San Sebastián and now lives in Madrid. Her projects range from underwater sculptures to citywide installations. Her upcoming Meijer Gardens exhibition is her first U.S. museum exhibition in more than two decades. The pieces on view present a range of her work that includes wall reliefs, metal silk screens, liquid sculptures and video. The exhibition will provide an immersive experience, aimed at engaging visitors in rich, multi-sensory typographies.
Iglesias has increasingly incorporated water into her art. Within this exhibition, “Phreatic Zone II,” a shallow pool below ground level with water flowing over sculpted terrain, directs the viewer’s attention to hidden sources. Water’s sonic pull is key to Iglesias’s pozo (well) sculptures. “Pozo XI” recently installed in the Tassell–Wisner–Bottrall English Perennial Garden as part of Meijer Gardens permanent sculpture collection, extends the exhibition outward from the galleries and creates a play between interior and exterior spaces that are central to her work. Similarly, the outdoor world of flora is brought indoors through Iglesias’ ongoing Entwined series of mural reliefs. These cast aluminum sculptures spread across the gallery walls like dense invasive vegetation, aggressive hybrids of industry and nature. Also on view will be two films from the artist’s Guided Tour series, which transport viewers to various urban and rural locales.
Recent public sculptures by Iglesias include Wet Labyrinth (With Spontaneous Landscape) at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, London; Landscape and Memory at Madison Square Park, New York; Sea Cave (Entrance), MICAS, Malta; Hondalea at Lighthouse of Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian; Inner Landscape (The Lithosphere, The Roots, The Water), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters in London. In 2020 she was awarded the London’s Royal Academy Architecture Prize. She has represented Spain at the 1986 and 1993 Venice Biennales and at the 2012 Sydney Biennale. Among her many recognitions are the Spanish National Prize for Visual Arts in 2000 and the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, for which she is the first non-architect recipient.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park promotes the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture and the natural environment. To that end, the public is invited to explore the works of Iglesia with expert guides at these upcoming programs:
On Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m. – noon, Dylan AT Miner, PhD, Dean and Professor of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University will present “The Art and Ecology of Water.” The program is included with admission to Meijer Gardens and will explore topics from communing to controlling to calling for action. Artists from diverse countries and cultures have long addressed humanity’s complex relationship with the natural world in their work. Dr. Miner, who is an artist, activist, scholar and citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, will discuss artwork exploring the intersection of humanity and water. Learn about tradition and current trends, from Indigenous practices to the work of Cristina Iglesias.
On Saturday, June 10, 11 a.m. – noon, a Gallery Walk with Amber Oudsema, Curator of Arts Education at Meijer Gardens and Adjunct Professor of Art History at Grand Valley State University will take place. Visitors are invited to explore the mysterious world of Cristina Iglesias’ underground pools and entwined growth—a signature aesthetic both metallic and organic. The juxtaposition of human-made and natural passages, phreatic zones, shadow, and light in Iglesias’ work will be discussed during this guided walk through the exhibition.
On Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m. – noon, Barney Boyer and Dana Strouse with the Nonpoint Source Pollution Department of the Water Resource Division from the State of Michigan will present “Maintaining Our Waterways: How We Can Help.” According to the event’s organizers, Michigan is an ideal place to host an exhibition of Cristina Iglesias’ work, given the deep connection many Michiganders feel to the waters and natural environment. Members of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy who provide technical assistance to restore waters impacted by pollution and protect high-quality waters from pollution will lead a discussion on what individuals can do to help keep our water clean and safe.
A full list of exhibition activities can be found at: MeijerGardens.org/calendar