About the artist
1974, born in Santiago, Chile
Lives and works in London, UK
Francisca Prieto is interested in the traces of humanity embedded within the disregarded. Layered both formally and conceptually, her work explores and combines collected fragments of history with the architectural principles of space, line and structure.
Prieto’s visual language defies categorisation. It is fundamentally three-dimensional, analytical and profound, the result of a long and considered methodology. For each artwork the artist reflects, documents and constructs new layers of meaning.
Prieto often draws on her own collection of timeworn publications and objects to construct her works; fascinated by their intrinsic characteristics, she seeks to capture and uniquely present their essence. Charged with humanity and history, she intertwines these fragments with intricate metalwork.
Her investigations – for each new series evolves and builds on the last – are based on considered research and reflect Prieto’s interest in finding new meaning across historical narratives or art theory.
The Intrinsic Dimension series is a homage to A. Rodchenko’s 1921 thesis ‘The Line’ which rejects figurative painting for a new spatial approach. Prieto suspends past railway tickets as pigment and volume, conveying different notions with intense visual texture and hues.
The Reminiscence series visualises the intangible architecture of the mind. It looks to capture memory and a sense of place through the framework of space, shadows and colour. These metal constructions are hauntingly suggestive of a fleeting moment in time.
The ongoing Traces of Absence series depicts a sense of loss, transforming the traces of our past with Prieto’s own concepts, adding a powerful new dimension to each narrative. The spatial investigations combine intriguing and rare past publications with elaborate metal configurations.
Most recently, the Denied series is a commentary on the historical denial of opportunities for women. Confined utilitarian objects represent how women’s imposed roles, assigned by cultures, society and individuals, have impeded their advancement.
Francisca Prieto was born in Chile where she trained and worked as a graphic designer, and moved to London in 2001 to study for an MA at Central Saint Martins, where she continues to live and work.
Her work is exhibited in the UK and internationally, including a solo show at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) in Chile (2019), the Venice Biennale (2017) and at international art fairs such as Parc Peru (2019) and Pinta London (2013,2012).
Prieto’s work is in private and public collections across the world, including the British Library, Tate, and the V&A’s National Art Library and in private institutions such as the boardroom of Schroders' global headquarters (England), and the luxury hotel The Gleneagles (Scotland).