Maria Fernanda Cardoso


MARIA FERNANDA CARDOSO is one of the most important Latin American artists living today. Born in Colombia and currently residing in Sydney, Australia, she graduated from Yale University with a Masters degree in Sculpture and Installation in 1990.

Cardoso exhibits widely in major museums and galleries in the US, Latin America, Australia and Europe. In 2012 Cardoso presented the MoCo_Museum of Copulatory Organs at the 18th Sydney Biennale at Cockatoo Island. 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 that same year, Maria Fernanda Cardoso represented Colombia at the Venice Biennale, exhibiting solo a large installation of starfish woven together into a submarine landscape titled Woven Water. Significant works from this series were acquired by the National Gallery of Australia and the MCA in Sydney.

Earlier in her career 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. Other projects include shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, PS1, the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Fundacion La Caixa in Barcelona, the DAROS Foundation in Zurich and the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid. Her well-known project, the Cardoso Flea Circus, was acquired by the Tate Gallery in London. 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.

Further collections include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, London, UK, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Miami Art Museum, Daros Collection, BLLA and Mambo Collections in Bogota, National Art Gallery, Canberra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, USA, among others.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s many awards include Fellowship Australia Council for the Arts awarded in 2014; Arts NSW Grant for Creation and Presentation in 2012; First Prize in the Gold Coast Art Gallery Jupiter’s Art Award in 2003 and at the II Bogota Biennale in 1990. 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. The artist has been a recipient of an Australia Council New Work Grant in 2002, a Scholarship from Yale University in 1989-1990, and a Colombia Government Scholarship to study abroad from 1987-1989.

Cardoso was interviewed in 2017 by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director Serpentine Galleries as part of “Conversations in Colombia” a project he began in 2010 that turned into a comprehensive mapping of that country’s artistic landscape. In 2018 her work, Naked Flora, will be included in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, curated by Erica Green.

Visit the artist website