We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Squashed (green/brown)



Angela de la Cruz

Spain, England

1965 –

No image
  • Details

    Media category
    Mixed media painting
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    123.0 x 123.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2011
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Angela de la Cruz
    Artist information
    Angela de la Cruz

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Angela de la Cruz describes her paintings as ‘everyday paintings’. Starting with richly painted monochrome canvases, she smashes, rips, crumples and folds her paintings - often situating them in awkward positions such as in a corner, under a chair, trapped in a door. Her works have titles such as ‘Ashamed’, ‘Knackered’, ‘Homeless’ they become misfits; bullied, embarrassed, displaced, miserable, - almost human in their experience. Often recycled and sometimes barely recognisable as paintings, they are given new life through the actions imposed on them; the minimalist canvas becomes a painting object with an emotionally charged presence.

    One of the most captivating things about de la Cruz’s work is the way in which it teases the viewer about the status of the artwork. As her paintings are often propped against or hung low on the wall, surrounded by furniture, you can’t be sure if they have been deliberately vandalised or accidentally damaged. Having lost their traditional form, de la Cruz’s works become the victims of her manipulation; their remote status tarnished by the intrusion of another object.

    De la Cruz says that she reached a point at art school where she couldn’t paint. “I was painting the same painting again and again. One day I just broke the painting. Not in anger but in sadness.” In the process, de la Cruz reinvented herself not as a melancholy vandal but as an extraordinary sculptor.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Unpainting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 Sep 2017–12 Aug 2018