Elena del Rivero has dedicated her work to study diverse written and verbal forms for communicating personal experiences, with an emphasis in the epistolary format. Born in Valencia, Spain, she has lived in New York since 1991. Her focus is on painting and works on pape but has also produced large-scale installations and performances where she has included printmaking and analog photography. Del Rivero draws inspiration from experience, including historial events that she has witnessed, and especially the everyday with its multiple symbolical references. Interested by the passage of time, she seeks the double entendre to uncover a subtle, if aesthetic, potential concealed within the discarded object and the transformation of decay. She contemplates a utopian idea of mending: action that she takes whenever the opportunity arises when the works get damaged, intentionally or not, during the process of making them; in this manner she, metaphorically, sutures their ‘wounds’. The kitchen historically has been the “female grid,” and it is this paradoxical and political place, the symbol par excellence of domesticity that has become her laboratory of ideas.
Elena del Rivero’s work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT); Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA); National Gallery of Art (Washington DC); Baltimore Art Museum (Baltimore, MD); Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville, ME); Pollock Gallery at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX); Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL); Institut Valenciá d’Art Modern (Valencia, Spain) and The Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain), among others.
Major grants and prizes include, Academia Bellas Artes de España in Rome (Prix de Rome), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (1991 and 1995), Creative Capital Foundation Grant (2001), The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2001 and 2002), The Rockefeller Foundation Residency at The Bellagio Center, Italy (2005) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2015). Most recently she was awarded a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA (2017).