1942–2020, Manila, The Philippines
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom
David Medalla is a unique figure in the history of twentieth-century art. His unpredictable and playful approach to art-making has made him difficult to categorise, but he is increasingly recognised as a significant figure in the development of installation, kinetic and participatory art. His practice deconstructs the idea of sculpture as solid, timeless and monumental by creating objects and situations that can never be repeated and are continually changing form. Medalla moved to London in 1960, where he has been largely based ever since, and took part in some of the 1960s and 70s exhibitions that defined minimal and conceptual practice in the United States and Europe. In 1963 he began to produce what have become his signature works, the Cloud Canyons or Bubble Machines. With their erotic, pulsing and sinuous forms, sculptures such as Cloud Canyons No.25 1963/2015 stand in contrast to the tenets of abstraction, embedding sculpture in the sensual world.
David Medalla / The Philippines/UK 1942–2020 / Cloud Canyons 1997 / Installation view, another vacant space, Berlin 2015 / Photograph: Adam Nankervis, 2015 / Image courtesy: David Medalla Archives and another vacant space, Berlin / © Estate of David Medalla
David Medalla / The Philippines/UK 1942–2020 / Cloud Canyons No. 25 1963/2015, installed in GOMA's Gallery 3.4 for APT8 / Plexiglass tubing, motor pumps, water, detergent / Purchased 2014. QAGOMA Foundation / Collection: QAGOMA / © Estate of David Medalla / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA