Sandra Vásquez de la Horra

*1967 Vina del Mar/Chile – lives in Berlin

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, born in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1967, grew up under Augusto Pinochet’s authoritarian regime. Drawing from history, folklore, mythology, sexuality and her experience of Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship, she explores themes of femininity, social hierarchy, repression, politics and religion. Working primarily with the technique of drawing – either on blank sheets or reused paper – she invents an wondrous universe populated by a variety of creatures and symbols. She then immerses her mysterious, erotic and intimate drawings in molten beeswax to achieve a timeless patina and a unique materiality. The unframed drawings are often just nailed to the wall, juxtaposed edge-to-edge in a cloud-like shape, or turned into leporellos and paper sculptures similar to model-houses, evoking manifold associations and a maltitude of endless stories.

After studying at the University for Design in Viña del Mar from 1989 to 1994, Vásquez de la Horra moved to Germany, where she enrolled at Düsseldorf Art Academy studying under Jannis Kounellis and Rosemarie Trockel before attending the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. She currently lives and works in Berlin.

In 2022 Vásquez de la Horra has been invited to participate in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani. Major solo exhibitions have been held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole (2011) and the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht (2010). In 2012, the artist participated in the São Paulo Biennial. Vásquez de la Horra’s work is also represented in many institutional collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Art Institute, Chicago; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; KAI 10 Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago de Chile; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Most recently, she received the Hans Theo Richter Prize by the Saxon Academy of Arts, Dresden, in 2009, she was awarded the Drawing Prize of the Contemporary Art Foundation Daniel and Florence Guerlain.


TWIN SOULS, Laufzeit: 11.06.- 22.07.2022 Eröffnung: 10.06.2022

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra

Opening: June 10, 2022
Exhibition: June 11 – July 22, 2022
Guided tour of the exhibition: Saturday 11 June, 2022 – 5 pm

Selected works

Reinhard Pods, Ohne Titel (will), 1981, Oil on canvas, 200 x 220.3 cm

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra
Alquimistas y Charlatanes

pencil and pigment on watercolor cardboard in wax, two parts
107 x 78 cm

Reinhard Pods, Ohne Titel (will), 1981, Oil on canvas, 200 x 220.3 cm

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra
Santa Muerte Hidalga

pencil and pigment on watercolor cardboard in wax
two parts with frame: 121.2 x 84.2 x 5.0 cm


8 September – 06 November 2017

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra

Escape over the rainbow

Delicate and vulnerable, these attributes apply just as much to the works of Sandra Vásquez de la Horra as do ruthless, grotesque and disturbing. They are images full of contrasting sensations. The artist doesn’t make light art.

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“By telling apparently small stories in her drawings and describing them with inscriptions, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra confronts herself with the history of her home country and her ancestors as well as her own. Drawing is her medium for identification, recognition, comprehension and liberation. In a mixture of pre-Columbian corporeal nature, naive figuration, surreal narrative structure and sometimes obsessive detail, the artist creates a world of characters that can be understood symbolically, metaphorically and mythologically, and yet still very close to reality.

Erika Költzsch-Schlessinger