The celebrated international gallerist Sean Kelly describes Gloria Cortina’s spatial compositions as ‘gesamtkunstwerks – total environments embracing architecture, design and the art that reside within them; refuges from the everyday, in which to relax, luxuriate, dream and refresh; to slip through the looking glass into another world – one of her making.’
These ‘total environments’ are a product of her profound interest in art, the spatial qualities of architecture, and the beauty and symbolism of the materials and objects she works with. The influence of artists as diverse as Eduardo Chillida, Ettore Spalletti and Matthias Goeritz infuse her work. So too do the sophisticated treatments of space and atmospheres by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Luis Barragán. And Gloria’s use of materials is uniquely sensitive to their cultural significance and creative potential.
Gloria’s treatment of spaces has no connection with transient design trends. Each design composition is an artful and specific response to the individual lives of her clients. ‘I’m designing to create very particular effects and atmospheres that will support the way people think, experience emotions, and live,’ she says. ‘For me, it should be like stepping through a frame into a fully resolved work of art – a truly living environment.’
As Sean Kelly puts it, Gloria Cortina’s work ‘achieves something remarkable. It is firmly rooted in the rich cultural traditions of her heritage – yet it radically reinvents the very medium it operates within ... to create a unique body of work of great sophistication, power and allure that emotionally mines the past, yet firmly orientates us to the future.’