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Gema Alava

Studio Interior
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Studio Location
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Nine artists were asked to give Alava an artwork in order for her to place it secretly outdoors.
Artist's Statement

Fragile and subtle materials allow us to enter calm but intense spaces. They represent the power of the minuscule, of the almost.

I am intrigued by how we react to the kinds of situations where we are faced with something that looks like it is about to fall. Do we just let it go and rebuild a new structure? Do we try to maintain, balance what is mostly gone? It might involve indecision; we might just look at it wondering what we should do.

Shadows are important. If you are able to freeze a shadow you are capturing time. Peter Pan got in all that trouble because of his shadow.

I find it extraordinary how people respond in such different ways to the same situation. I've been using materials that allow me to work with this ambiguity, these contradictory truths. It is that difference of opinion that I find interesting, and so I always try to make sure that I leave space for interpretation.


Gema Alava (Madrid, Spain, 1973) received a B.A. from the Universidad Complutense Madrid, and the Chelsea College of Art & Design, London; a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art University, CA; and a M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, CA. She is the recipient of a Penagos National Drawing Prize, Spain; an Art History Fellowship by the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Spain; an ERASMUS Fellowship; a La Caixa Foundation fellowship; an AIM Program Grant from the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; and an EMERGE Program grant from Aliira-Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey.
Her work has been presented at the Rana Museum in Norway; the Queens Museum of the Arts, NYC; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYC; the United Nations Building, NYC; CUE Art Foundation, NYC, and will be presented at Lehman College Art Gallery, NYC, in 2011. Her project “A Dialogue” took place at the Guggenheim museum in 2008, NYC.