About the artist
1974, born in Santiago, Chile
Lives and works in London, UK
Francisca Prieto creates unique three-dimensional artworks which combine collected fragments of history with the architectural principles of space, line and structure. Her investigations – for each new series evolves and builds on the last – are technically and conceptually profound, put together using meticulous and original techniques that convey heightened ideas and sentiment.
Prieto uses a diverse range of material in her work, often drawing on her collection of precious print, papers charged with our own humanity and history. Innovative metalwork frequently forms her work’s structures, which she treats to bring out particular and relevant hues and colours.
Each artwork is the accumulation of Prieto’s own experimentation, a long and considered methodology that fuels the rich character of every work. Each piece is different and reveals captivating detail upon viewing, enlivened through the artist’s command of creation to capture and distil a sense.
Prieto’s interest in finding new meaning in historical narratives or art theory is reflected in many of her artwork series. Intrinsic Dimension is a homage to A. Rodchenko’s 1921 thesis which rejects figurative painting for a new spatial approach. She uses a collection of vintage card railway tickets – different colours from across the world – as pigment and volume, applying them to create intense visual texture and rippling hues to convey different notions.
Traces of Absence combines intriguing and rare ephemera – a 19thCentury collection of portraits of women, an early French dictionary of chemical arts, watermarked bonds and stocks – with treated bronze, brass and silver nickel. These spatial investigations add a powerful new dimension to each narrative, distinctively unpicking and then transforming the traces of our past.
Most recently, Reminiscence captures memory and a sense of place through constructions of space, light and colour. These structures are hauntingly suggestive of a fleeting moment in time. Evocative with emotion and recollection at their crux, they are the artist’s most personal series to date.
Francisca Prieto was born in Chile, where she trained and worked as a graphic designer, a footing that enhances her meticulous and mathematically-governed compositions. In 2001 she moved to London to study for an MA at Central Saint Martins, and she continues to live and work in the city.
Prieto’s work is exhibited widely in London and abroad, most recently in a critically acclaimed solo show at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) in Chile (2019), as well as the Venice Biennale (2017) and at international art fairs such as Pinta London (2013, 2012). Her work is in public collections worldwide, including the British Library, Tate, and the V&A’s National Art Library and in private institutions such as the board room of Schroders' global headquarters (England), and the luxury hotel The Gleneagles (Scotland).