Cristina Iglesias's large-scale, minimal sculptures are architecturally dependent. She describes her works as “pieces that are like thought, places from which one sees, spaces that fall between reality and image, between presence and representation, spaces that speak of other spaces.” One of an emerging generation of Spanish artists who gained international recognition for their sculpture during the 1990s, Iglesias creates works that articulate a delicate balance between physical and visual qualities. Characteristic of her sculpture is the juxtaposition of imposing, large-scale forms made of concrete, iron, or aluminum with intricately etched surfaces and sumptuous materials such as glass, alabaster, and tapestry.
Concerned with the issues of form and space as they occur in nature, Iglesias, in effect, creates her own pared-down, sculptural landscapes. Enlisting materials such as bamboo, leaves, and vines as her models, Iglesias works her surfaces with rich waxes and patinas, which often catch natural light from the windowed portions of her pieces. Her sculptures, roughly hewn yet sensitively modeled, fuse the organic with the industrial and, though of generous proportion, are nearly all constructed on a human scale. Iglesias's compositionally varied architectural appendages generate a dialogue with the surrounding space, beckoning the viewer to circumnavigate the work.
One of a series, Untitled (Jealousy II) uses a form drawn from Iglesias's cultural heritage—a screen similar to those used in confessional booths of Catholic churches—to infer that the eponymous emotion is sinful. As Nancy Princenthal has noted, the Spanish title Celosía is both the word for a louvered window covering and for jealousy. As blinds function to keep light out, the title suggests the limited perception afforded while incarcerated by this irrational state. Permitting only filtered views of its interior, Iglesias's chamber functions as both a provocative barrier and a structure for ostensible protection. As with many of her works, the viewer is left to wonder how things appear from the inside.