Susana Solano

Susana Solano

Barcelona, 1946

Barcelona-born Susana Solano began her artistic career with a brief journey into painting in the early 1980s that ended up taking her into the medium she has continued to work in ever since: sculpture. Her work is frequently linked to postminimalism, as well as to other Spanish sculptors like Julio González, Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida. Iron and wicker are common in her art, although she has also created works using industrial forging, always with a clear intention of exploring the relationship between space and artist.

Solano creates symbolic spaces with abstract forms, drawing inspiration from nature, the environment, and memory, inducing us to observe them and respond. Based on her own experiences, she raises questions about human beings and their relationship with habitats. We find architectures like cavities, receptacles, deposits or hills that explore the margins between the visible and the hidden. In this context, the concept of epidermis acquires an important meaning, since the covering is a fundamental part of the works, as it is presented as a container and exhibitor of a less visible nucleus, while also having equal or greater significance in itself.

After completing a fine arts degree in Barcelona, she first exhibited her work in 1980 at Espai10 - Fundació Joan Miró with an individual exhibition. From then onwards, her work began to be seen around Europe, in important places like the Serpentine Gallery in London, CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain in Bordeaux and Documenta 8 in Kassel. At the end of the eighties, she started to exhibit in the United States through institutions like Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the Donald Young Gallery in Chicago. Among highlights are her retrospective in Palacio Velázquez of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in 1992, which later travelled to Grenoble, London and Malmö.

More recently, in 2019, two Spanish institutions, the IVAM in Valencia and the Patio Herreriano Museum in Valladolid, dedicated another retrospective exhibition to Solano with a selection of more than one hundred of her works including sculptures, installations, drawings, videos and a large group of models attesting to the most outstanding of the international projects in public spaces that the artist has developed over the last twenty years.

Currently, Solano’s works can be found in some of the world’s most prominent museums and collections, such as the Utsu-Kushi-Ga-Hara Open Air Museum of Tokyo, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam or MoMA in New York. She has been awarded prizes including the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 1988 and Premio Tomás Francisco Prieto of Real Casa de la Moneda in 2011, among others.

Exhibitions and fairs

"I have come to the conclusion that what pleases me and fills me with emotion are the impressions; in the creative act and in its definition, the impressions are there".

Susana Solano