Elena del Rivero is a multidisciplinary artist whose work, in a range of media, has been characterised by developing projects over time in which she speaks of memory, everyday life and interpersonal relationships.
In 1991 she moved to New York, where she has worked and lived since then. She experienced first-hand the consequences of the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, as her studio, on Cedar Street, within what became known as Ground Zero, was seriously damaged and a large amount of debris from the towers broke the windows and invaded the studio. The artist was in Madrid at the time of the attack, but when she returned after a few weeks, she collected more than three thousand pieces of paper that had reached her studio from the offices in the Twin Towers and composed an artwork with them, which has brought her great renown on the art scene. She also recorded more than ninety hours with a video camera between October 2001 and August 2002, and with this material she composed the work Cedarliberty.
The other series of works for which she is well known is Cartas a la madre, inspired by the letter Kafka wrote to his father, although in the case of this artist they are addressed to the mother in general, as she does not like revealing too much information about her private life.
Del Rivero has also devoted attention to domestic textiles, a practice that ties in with her wider concern for anti-monumentalism, which has recently become more profound. In her view, transferring the tea towel from the domestic sphere to urban landscapes would release a rich range of metaphors and perhaps elevate this often undervalued object. Transposition from the private, domestic realm to the public space raises questions about the rise and fall of symbols of power.
Elena del Rivero’s work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum and MoMA, both in New York, the Yale University Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the IVAM in Valencia and the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, among others.
The Hortensia Herrero collection contains two works by Elena del Rivero.