Malù Cruz Piani - Official site


Malù Cruz Piani, born in São Paulo in 1965, is a sculptor and painter. Following the footsteps of her grandfather who was a ceramics artist, she attended a Fine Arts university in Brazil. In the 1980’s, her modelling career led her to travel throughout Europe, granting her the opportunity to visit the main art capitals of the Old Continent. At the end of the 1990’s her interest in the figurative arts, especially sculptual arts, began to ripen, and her debut in the world of sculpture was marked by an apprenticeship at Sergio Tapia Radic’s atelier. Cruz’s first experimentations with figurative and traditional arts date back to this period and her work was strongly characterized by a placid and descriptive plasticism, a display of naturalistic and academic details. Along the way, however, she became increasingly interested – through both theoretical and practical modes as well as through infinite visits to museums - in more sculptural and compositional themes inspired by the biographical and stylistic traces of Lucio Fontana , Fausto Melotti, and Alberto Giacometti. Her first exhibitions date back to the year 2000 and the following year in the province of Varese. In the meantime, at the end of the 1990’s, Cruz moved to the city of Ispra (VA) and exhibited mostly in galleries and private spaces. In November of 2011 she participated in the “Holiday House” in New York. During this period, she met and spent time with the sculptor Giancarlo Sangregorio (1925 – 2013) and while in Ispra she attended lessons with the artist Antonio Pizzolante. These encounters were particularly enrichening and gave rise to formal reflections which Cruz interpreted in a highly personal manner. She began to develop the primitive and metaphorical qualities of sculpture through a continuous transformation of forms, where the inanimate becomes animate, where the subject transforms its own connotations through a hybridization of human delineations, floral and animal motifs, yet always in search of smooth, symmetrical, and precise forms. From 2012 through 2014, the artist’s studies and research led her to delve into the informal aspects of sculpture, as well as to analyze the work of new artists such as Germaine Richier, Ennio Morlotti and Francesco Arcangeli. This familiarity with informal and organic sculpture also led to a further theoretical and practical immersion into the work of Jean Arp and Henry Moore. Cruz’s work displays a marked attraction towards abstraction, yet nonetheless transcends mere stylistic experimentation towards a true and inexhaustive research of ideal forms, of the primordial forms of creation, of solid and geometrical profiles, in search of a sort of mythical connection between the ancient universe and the contemporary realm. Malù Cruz Piani explores in her sculptures in bronze or Raku ceramic the infinite possibilities of composition and juxtaposition between light and shadow, while the coarse treatment of the sculptural surface emphasizes tactile and material qualities. Cruz has been widely appreciated by art critics, art historians, and collectors, and her artwork is present in art collections in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Lugano and various cities throughout Italy. In 2016 she completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Studies with a thesis in the History and Criticism of Contemporary Art, under the guidance of Professor Andrea Spiriti at the Università dell’Insubria in Varese. Cruz currently lives and works in Ispra, on Lake Maggiore.