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MAGDALENA FERNÁNDEZ  (b. 1964, Venezuela)

“Forms already existent in nature and my historical and geopolitical context pave my way to materialize an idea. I enjoy reshaping a gesture, a structure, a form. On other occasions, those same forms seem to ask for a transformation, a reformulation--one that becomes a new possibility not only through new media, but also through a different use and conception of space.”

Magdalena Fernández’s studies began in the fields of physics and mathematics; in 1982, she enrolled at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas. After two years at the university, she began exploring graphic design, and she traveled to Italy, where she studied with architect and designer A. G. Fronzoni. She worked as an independent graphic designer in Italy from 1990-2000. From this work, she developed a rigorous familiarity with line and structure. She began making stainless steel sculptures in the mid-1990s, setting them into the ground and inviting viewers to move in and around them. Her activation of the audience bears some relationships to the strong history of Venezuelan sculpture, especially to early interventions by Alejandro Otero and Jesús Rafael Soto, and much of her subsequent work considers how to reformulate these histories of modern art.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Fernández began using digital media to incorporate moving images to her work. She made a series of Dibujos móviles in 1998, followed soon after by a series of video installations called Pinturas móviles. 

In these, she references certain aspects of work by artists Piet Mondrian, Joaquín Torres-García, Lygia Clark, alongside Soto and Otero, but she reinterprets them, breaking down some of the authority of these canonical images and artists. There is, she argues, a dialectics of abstraction. Curator and writer Luis Perez Oramas writes, “It is therefore possible to verify in them the persistence of structures whose visual functioning still responds to the model of the great patterns of modern abstraction, provided it is also understood that, in a sort of conceptual background, what motivates the work from a poetical viewpoint is the persistence of a corporal or organic spectrum, a reduced or disseminated corporality.”

Indeed, much of Fernández’s abstractions look also to experiences of the natural world. She writes, “In 1998, I made my first video. It was also a gateway to work in space without structure and to address the problem of painting. Convinced that language and content go separate ways, I stepped back on those elements that placed me in the constructive stream in order to highlight what is my most immediate reference: nature.” Using the organic forms of nature, Fernández adds sound and noises to playfully reengage with how we experience these forms and how, by making them unstable, they can be transformed. “I believe instability deals with movement, with fracture, or with a possible transformation. Those thoughts have led to different formal results in my work, both in structural pieces and in videos. In fact, instability in my work is a physical event--an event that separates me from modernity,” she observes.

Selected Solo Exhibitions



Magdalena Fernández: Ecos, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico



“Video Crossings: Magdalena Fernández". Phoenix Art Museum. Phoenix, USA


"Rain: Magdalena Fernández at the Houston Cistern" Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Houston, Texas, USA


Magdalena Fernández: Flexible Structures, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA


Uprooting Architecture: Climas, IdeoBox Artspace, Miami, FL, USA



Magdalena Fernández, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, CA, USA



Magdalena Fernández, El dibujo fuera de Sí: Triptico de Venezuelas (1970-2014), Instituto de


Canarias Cabrera Pinto de la Laguna. Tenerife, Spain


Grises: un proyecto de Magdalena Fernández, NC-Arte, Bogotá, Colombia


2iPM009, Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA), Long Beach, CA, USA


Mobile Geometry, Henrique Faría Fine Art, New York, NY, USA





2iPM009, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA


Objetos Movientes: Atmósfera – Estructuras – Tierras, Centro Cultural Chacao, Periférico Caracas / Arte Contemporáneo; FARIA+FABREGAS Galería, Caracas, Venezuela



2iPM009, haus konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland (solo show within Complete Concrete)


1i010, French Embassy, Caracas, Venezuela


Superficies, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, Venezuela


Surfaces, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA


Lines, Pedro Cera Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal


2i000, Galleria Disegno Arte Contemporanea, Mantova, Italy


4i000, Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas, Venezuela


Aires, Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela


2i997, Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela


1i996, Verifica Center 8+1, Venice-Mestre, Italy


Estructuras, Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela


Aspettando la parola, Town Hall of Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy


Selected Public Collections

Centre d´Art Contemporain Frank Popper, Marcigny, France

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA

Colección Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Mexico City, Mexico

Colección Allegro, Caracas, Venezuela

Colección Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela

Colección D.O.P., Caracas, Venezuela

Colección Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

Colección Sayago & Pardon, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Fundación de Museos Nacionales, Caracas, Venezuela

Fundación Letty Coppel, Mexico

Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

Miami Art Museum (MAM), Miami, FL, USA

Municipio de Netanya, Herzliyya, Israel

Museo Alejando Otero, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno de Cuenca, Ecuador

Museo Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, CA, USA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

Museum Sztuki w Lodzi, Lodz, Poland