Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, born in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1967, grew up in a Catholic family under Augusto Pinochet’s authoritarian regime. After studying at the University for Design in Viña del Mar from 1989 to 1994, Vásquez de la Horra moved to Germany, where she enrolled at Düsseldorf Art Academy under Jannis Kounellis and Rosemarie Trockel before attending the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. She currently lives and works in Berlin.
Sandra Vásquez de la Horra’s drawings are influenced by film, fairy tales and botanical and zoological textbooks, as well as from her personal background. Since 1997, the Artist finishes her drawings by dipping them in wax. This process gives her work a unique materiality and emphasises the pencil line with ambiguous depth.
The traditions and myths of her Chilean origins and the influence of Latin-American magic-realist literature are essential in her artistic practice. Religion, mythology, sexuality and the bizarre, reverberate and merge together, trapped beneath the wax coating of her drawings. Her works deal with borderline experiences, femininity, fear and death, as well as poetry, reawakening demons, ghosts, creatures of myth and gloomy dreams.
Her extremely defined images show desires that stem from both her personal and a wider universal experience: they appear ecstatic, traumatic and surrealistic. Frequently working while she travels, her drawings are often stowed in her luggage, functioning as a sort of pictorial diary.
Her work has been exhibited at Kupfestich-Kabinet, Dresden, Germany (2021); Drawing Biennal, London, United Kingdom (2019); The Parkview Museum, Singapore (2017); Museum für moderne Kunst, Breman (2016); S.M.A.K., Gent (2015); Albertina, Vienna (2015). Solo shows include: Sächsische Akademie der Künste, Dresden, Germany (2021); Museo Novecento, Florence, Italy (2019); “Sao Paulo Biennal” curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas, Sao Paulo Brazil (2012); Musée d’Art Moderne, St-Etienne (2011); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2010); the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2017, 2011, 2009) and the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2008).
Vásquez de la Horra was awarded the prestigious Guerlain Prize in 2009 and in 2021 received the Hans Theo Ritcher Prize. Her work is part of various public and private collections such as: Centre Pompidou, Paris; Pinakothek der Moderne, München; Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf; Museum of Art, Philadelphia; among others.
The Artist has been invited to the 59th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia 2022 “The Milk of Dreams” curated by Cecilia Alemani.