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Biography

MARIA FERNANDA CARDOSO
[1963, Colombia]

“The world has worlds within worlds, both smaller and bigger.”

As a child, María Fernanda Cardoso took long nature walks with her father. Carrying a magnifying glass, Cardoso would look closely at plants and insects, studying their intricacies. These walks sparked her curiosity about the natural world and trained her powers of observation. Throughout her career, she has continued to explore nature and its links to culture and science. Curator Carolina Ponce de León writes, “Cardoso’s installations, sculptures and videos seek to unravel the parodies, paradoxes and complexities that appear in the joints where cultural systems overlap.”
 
In the early 1980s, Cardoso studied architecture and the visual arts at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1987, she moved to New York to attend the Graduate Sculpture Program at Pratt Institute, and in 1990, she completed her MFA in Sculpture at Yale University. Her early projects make use of preserved animals such as lizards, starfish, earthworms, frogs, and snakes arranged in intricate, abstract compositions reminiscent of pre-Colombian forms. Other installations include flowers and stones turned into vertical gardens and funerary wreaths.

The Cardoso Flea Circus (1994-2000) was a six-year series of performances and installations in which Cardoso trained fleas to perform tasks and surprising feats of strength. She performed the Cardoso Flea Circus internationally, at venues including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sydney Opera House, Centre Georges Pompidou, Arts Festival Atlanta, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, and the San Francisco Exploratorium. In 2003, she represented Colombia for the Venice Biennale. Cardoso moved to Sydney, Australia in 1997, and she currently lives and works there. In 2012, she received her PhD from Sydney College for the Arts.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s works are represented in several major collections including The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia; Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, Florida, USA; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, New York, USA; Daros Latinamerica, Zürich, Switzerland; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, USA; and Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Gumnuts and Sandstone, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney, Australia

2018
On the Origins of Art, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, Houston, TX, USA
While I Live I Will Grow, Green Square Community and Cultural Precinct, Sydney, Australia
Timeline, Apología a lo perecedero, Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogota
The Art Of Seduction, ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Naked Flora, Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, The Jam Factory, Adelaide, Australia

2014
Sandstone Pollen, International Convention Centre ICC, Darling Harbour, commissioned by Lend Lease, Sydney, Australia

2013
Undressing a Flower, William Wright Artist Projects, Sydney, Australia
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Organos Intromitentes, Galeria Casas Riegner, Bogota, Colombia
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Colección de Arte del Banco de La Republica, Touring to the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango Bogota, Medellin, Bucaramanga, and Cucuta, Colombia

2012
Museum of Copulatory Organs (MoCO), 18th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2011
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: It’s Not Size That Matters It Is Shape, ARC One Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Masters of Disguise, Freemantle Arts Centre, Freemantle, Australia

2010
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Garden of Insects, Galeria Casas Riegner, Bogota, Colombia
Emu Wear at the Rodman Centre for the Arts, Brock University, Ontario, Canada
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Fashion and Mimesis, Rodman Centre for the Arts Brock University, Ontario, Canada
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Fashion and Mimesis, Definitely Superior Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Canada

2009
Emu Wear, GRANTPIRRIE Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2008
Mimicry, Berenice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL, USA
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Fashion and Mimesis, Definitely Superior Gallery, Thunder Bay, Canada (Performance)
Emu Wear, Berenice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL, USA (Performance)
Emu Wear, Casula Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia (Performance)

2007
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Emu, Galeria Casas Riegner, Bogota, Colombia

2006
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Death Becomes Her, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY, USA
Emu Next 5km, GRANTPIRRIE Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2004
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, GRANTPIRRIE Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: 20 años, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia
Cara de Buseta (Bus Face), Galeria Diners, Bogotá, Colombia

2003
Cara de Buseta (Bus Face), Casas-Riegner, Miami, FL, USA
Zoomorphia: Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney, Australia
Biogeometrias / Biogeometries, Latin collector, New York, NY, USA
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Galeria Diners, Bogotá, Colombia 
Sheep, Artspace Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Sheep, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C., USA

2002
Dibujo de Mariposas / Butterfly Drawings, Galeria Casas-Riegner, Miami, FL, USA
Dibujos de Mariposas / Butterfly Drawings, Galeria Diners, Bogotá, Colombia 

2000
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival 2000, Australia
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
Cardoso Flea Circus, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, USA (Installation)
Sculptures, Galeria Sala Alternativa, Caracas, Venezuela
Cardoso Flea Circus Live, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland (Performance)
Cardoso Flea Circus Live, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Australia (Performance)

1998
Cardoso Flea Circus, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY, USA (Video installation)
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris Quartier D’ete Festival, Paris, France
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances, Awesome International Children’s Festival, Perth, Australia

1997
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performance and exhibition, Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA, USA

1996
Cardoso Flea Circus, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA

1995
Love Down Under, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA
Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances and exhibition, San Francisco Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, USA
Cardoso Flea Circus live performance, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Cardoso Flea Circus Live, San Francisco Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, USA

1994
Submarine Landscape, Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA, USA
Woven Water, Ruth Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Maria Fernanda Cardoso: Recent Sculptures, MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA, USA
Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Orange County, CA, USA
Gold, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY, USA

1993
Cemetery, Chapman University, San Francisco Artspace, San Francisco, CA, USA
Gold, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Botuto Guarura / Gourds, Sala Alternativa, Caracas, Venezuela
El Marmol Americano / American Marble, Ruth Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

1992
Calabazas / Gourds Recent Sculptures, San Francisco Art Space, San Francisco, CA, USA
Botuto Guarura (Gourds), Sala Alternativa, Caracas, Venezuela
El Marmol Americano (American Marble), Ruth Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

1991
Obra Reciente / Recent Work, Galeria Garces y Velasquez, Bogota, Colombia

1987
Nuevos Nombres / New Names, Casa de La Moneda, Bogota, Colombia

Selected Public Collections

Artbank, Australia

Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia

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

Colección de Arte Banco de la Republica, Bogotá, Colombia

Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela

Daros Latinamerica, Zürich, Switzerland

Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast, Australia         

Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, USA

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

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

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Cooks Hill, Australia

Pérez Art Museum, Miami Beach, FL, USA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA

Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, Tamworth NSW, Australia

Tate Modern, London, UK

The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia

The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA

The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA

The Space Collection, Irvine, CA, USA