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Maria Fernanda Cardoso

b. 1963

Maria Fernanda Cardoso is an international artist, born in Colombia, currently living in Sydney, Australia. Graduating from Yale University with a Masters degree in Sculpture and Installation in 1990, she is well known for her unconventional use of materials and the use of animals as inspiration. Cardoso exhibits widely in major museums and galleries in the US, Latin America, Australia and Europe.

In 2003 she had a major solo show “Zoomorphia” at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and a mid-career survey at BLLA, the leading contemporary art museum in Bogota, Colombia. In 2000, the Museum of Modern Art in New York commissioned her to make a major installation for their millennium show, “Modern Starts”. Here she installed 36,000 plastic lilies in a 125 foot long wall — which subsequently toured to the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, Miami Art Museum, and the Walker Art Center. In 2003 she represented Colombia at the Venice Biennale, exhibiting a large installation of starfish woven together into a submarine landscape titled Woven Water. Other projects include shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, PS1, the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Fundacion La Caixa in Barcelona, the DAROS Foundation in Zurich and the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid.

Her most re-known project, the Cardoso Flea Circus, was recently acquired by the Tate Gallery in London as part of its permanent collection. The Circus has been widely exhibited in festivals and museums around the world, and was performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival 2000, where it was a smash hit. Other collections include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Miami Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Daros Collection, BLLA and Mambo Collections in Bogota, National Art Gallery, Canberra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, among others. Cardoso has been a visiting artist and professor at the California Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota. GRANTPIRRIE Gallery and ARC ONE Gallery represent her in Sydney and Melbourne.

Cardoso has been a recipient of an Australia Council New Work Grant in 2002, a First Prize in the Gold Coast Art Gallery Jupiter’s Art Award in 2003. First Prize at the II Bogota Bienalle in 1990, tuition Scholarship from Yale University in 1989-1990, and a Colombia Government Scholarship to study abroad from 1987-1989 In 2003 Cardoso represented Colombia to the 52th Venice Biennale.

Birth place
Bogota, Colombia
Period of activity 
from 1985
From Cardoso Flea Circus, via d'archive
From Cardoso Flea Circus, via d'archive – from Cardoso Flea Circus, via d/Archive 
Chicken Face, Fish Face, Bat Face, – from Chicken Face, Fish Face, Bat Face, via Vimeo 
Emu Wear, – from Emu Wear, via Vimeo 
Cardoso Flea Circus Video, – from Cardoso Flea Circus, via Vimeo