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Elena del Rivero

Valencia, Spain. 1949

Elena del Rivero has dedicated her work to thoroughly study the diverse written and verbal forms to which human beings engage for communicating personal and intimate experiences, emphasizing into the epistolary format. Assuming the field of everyday life as a space that has multiple symbolic dimensions, the artist rescues certain gestures that through repetition can acquire an expressive capacity and also function as a path of autobiographical exploration, such as the act of mending or repairing certain materials. With these actions, Elena del Rivero interweaves the parallelism between domestic spaces and spaces dedicated to work, such as the studio.

The artist has focused mainly in painting and work on paper, but has also produced large-scale installations and performances; always highlighting the receptiveness of the materials and how can they be used as narrative means.

Elena del Rivero has been awarded with the following prizes and scholarships: Beca para artistas jóvenes españoles, (Ministerio Español de Cultura) 1983; Prix de Rome (Academia Española de Bellas Artes, Roma), 1988; Pollock-Krasner Foundation, 1991; Creative Capital Foundation, 2001; The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2001, 2002; The Rockefeller Foundation (The Bellagio Residence Center), Italy, 2005; The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, 2015, among others. Elena del Rivero’s work is part of the following collections: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Baltimore Art Museum, Baltimore; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Pollock Gallery at Southern Methodist University, Dallas; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid; Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona; Fundacion Caja Burgos, Burgos; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, among others. Elena del Rivero lives and Works in New York City, USA. The artist has presented her first show at Travesia Cuatro in September 2016, titled My friends and other animals, in collaboration with Kiki Bauer, John Coplans, Esther Ferrer, Janice Guy, María Lozano, Angeles Marco, Freya Powell, Tere Recarens, Kiki Smith and Lily van der Stokker.

Elena del Rivero lives and Works in New York City, USA.

Letter from Home: Folded, I
2015. Oil on soiled lead primed canvas with stitched canvas loop. 26x26 cm
Letter from Home: folded, with dirt, II
2015. Oil on linen and thread, fabric, graphite and needles. 35.5x35.5x3.5 cm
Letter to the mother
2015. Oil on linen with raw linen and thread. 35.5x35.5x3.5 cm
Letter from home In Cerulean
2014. Óleo, café y suciedad sobre lienzo. 87 x 72cm
Letter from home: Molly is in bed
2015. Oil on lead primed canvas with thread. 15 x 113 cm.
L'Oeil D'Ame
2008. Gold leaf on abaca paper. 198 x 198 cm.
Echo of an Unfinished Letter
1999. Installation view at IVAM Valencia, Spain. Detail. Thread, pencil, ink-jet print and ink drawing on music manuscript, 600 pages. 17,8 x 22,9 cm/each one.
Unfinished Letter to a Young Daughter (Carta inacabada a una joven hija)
1998-99. Gouache, colour ink, pencil, pen on sewn paper. 130 pages. 17,8 x 22,9 cm each one.

Sprengel Museum Hannover

Elena del Rivero participates in “Between the Lines.Art in Letters from Niki de Saint Phalle to Joseph Beuys” from 10 May to 27 August 2017, Sprengel Museum Hannover. The exhibition is dedicating itself to the nearly lost medium of letters and postcards. The show features renowned international artists from the latter half of the 20th century whose experimental concepts innovated and expanded the creative and communicative possibilities of the correspondence.


Travesía Cuatro participate in Frieze NY, May 4-7. Artists: Elena del Rivero, Gonzalo Lebrija, Jose Dávila, Alexandre Estrela, Milena Muzquiz, Asunción Molinos Gordo and Mateo López.


Travesía Cuatro will participate in Independent Brussels. April 19 – 23 , 2017. Mateo López, Jorge Méndez Blake, Milena Muzquiz, Elena del Rivero and Alexandre Estrela.