Maria Cruz

Maria Cruz

Maria Cruz (b.1957, Manila) currently lives and works between Manila and Berlin. Having lived in Manila, Sydney and Berlin, Cruz avoids being bound to a single identity. Educated in all three cities, she presents a composite of sources and outputs in her practice, moving between painting, sculpture and video, figuration and abstraction seamlessly, adopting traditions when suitable, rejecting some, and retaining others. Conceptual, ongoing painting projects with pragmatic formulae, such as her Million Dollar painting series and Yoko Ono text paintings, offer a framework of perverse rules in which Cruz finds incredible liberty as a painter, exercising colour with curiosity, skill, and a fascination for repetition.

Cruz relocated to Sydney in 1980 to attend Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), where she completed a Bachelor of Visual Art in 1983 and, later, a Post Graduate Studies in Visual Arts. In 1985, Cruz moved to the Art Academy of Dusseldorf in Germany where she undertook a Post Graduate Studies with professor Klaus Rinke. In 1999, Cruz completed a Master of Visual Arts at SCA. 

In 1997, Cruz won the Portia Geach Portrait prize with a self-portrait. Other awards include the PS1 International Studio Program, New York (2000-01), Australia Council Artist Development and Project Grants (2000-01 and 1999), and the City of Hobart Contemporary Art Prize (2004). Cruz has been awarded several residencies including the Karl Hofer Gesselschaft Residency, Berlin, Germany (2005) and Artist-in-Residence at Canberra Institute of the Arts (1989). 

Cruz has exhibited in major exhibitions and institutions across Asia, Australia, Europe and America. Her work is held in major public and private collections including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and Ateneo Art Gallery, Phillipines.

Selected works

    Eleven thousand, nine hundred & fifty-nine

    Maria Cruz

    Eleven thousand, nine hundred & fifty-nine 2017

    Growing Pain

    Maria Cruz

    Growing Pain 2000

    It Happened

    Maria Cruz

    It Happened 2001

    Inner Green

    Maria Cruz

    Inner Green 2015


    Maria Cruz

    Yes 2007

    Seven thousand, four hundred & eighty-seven

    Maria Cruz

    Seven thousand, four hundred & eighty-seven 2017


  • Almost


    Maria CruzJulie FragarMatthys GerberChristopher HanrahanLucina LaneTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheJohn NixonJan van der PloegElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiGemma SmithNicola SmithJelena TeleckiBrendan Van HekOliver Wagner

    10 September - October 9, 2021



    John ArmlederSimon BarneyMaria CruzJulie FragarSarah MoscaOlivier MossetJonny NiescheGemma SmithJelena TeleckiOliver WagnerBrendan Van HekJan van der Ploeg

    25 November - December 19, 2020



    Maria CruzAnthony JohnsonLucina LaneTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithNicola SmithJelena TeleckiBrendan Van Hek

    21 May - June 20, 2020

  • Sydney Contemporary

    Sydney Contemporary

    Gemma SmithJonny NiescheOliver WagnerMaria CruzHuseyin SamiLucina LaneAnthony JohnsonTodd McMillan

    12 - September 15, 2019

  • Sydney Contemporary 2018

    Sydney Contemporary 2018

    Gemma SmithJonny NiescheTodd McMillanOliver WagnerHuseyin SamiJohn NixonMaria CruzDavid HainesChristopher Hanrahan

    13 - September 16, 2018



    Maria CruzMatthys GerberBrendan Van HekJonny NiescheJohn NixonAndreas Reiter Raabe & Franz WestOliver WagnerJonathan Zawada

    17 May - June 16, 2018

  • Five hundred thousand, two hundred & eleven

    Maria Cruz

    Five hundred thousand, two hundred & eleven

    18 November - December 16, 2017

  • little league

    little league

    Matt HinkleyJohn NixonJulie FragarJonny NiescheJohn SpiteriJohn NicholsonKoji RyuiMaria CruzGemma SmithHuseyin SamiTodd McMillanJan van der Ploeg

    19 January - February 4, 2017

  • Another Green World

    Another Green World

    Jamie NorthGemma SmithAndreas Reiter RaabeSandra SeligSarah MoscaMatthys GerberJack Lanagan DunbarJonny NiescheOlivier MossetMaria CruzKoji RyuiJulie FragarBrendan Van Hek

    4 August - September 3, 2016

  • Paintings

    Maria Cruz


    1 - May 31, 2014

  • 20 200

    20 200

    Hany ArmaniousMatthys GerberJohn NixonMikala DwyerMaria CruzAnne-Marie MayA.D.S. Donaldson & Andreas ExnerSylvie FleuryKerrie PolinessJohn ArmlederOlivier MossetAndreas Reiter RaabeGail HastingsTony SchwensenPaul SaintGerold MillerDiena GeorgettiMelinda HarperRuark LewisJohn SpiteriJan van der PloegJulia GormanJames LynchDavid GriggsElizabeth NewmanRobert PulieSimon BarneyPeter WüthrichTim SilverMary TeagueHuseyin SamiRachel ScottOscar YanezElizabeth PulieStephen BramRose NolanKoji RyuiGemma SmithSimon DennyMatt HinkleyJohn NicholsonChristopher HanrahanJulie FragarJustin TrendallMoya McKennaRon AdamsSandra SeligJamie NorthTodd McMillanJonathan ZawadaJustene Williams

    13 March - April 17, 2014

  • Summer


    Jamie NorthMoya McKennaMaria CruzJohn NixonChristopher HanrahanTodd McMillanMatthys GerberKoji RyuiJustin TrendallGemma SmithHuseyin SamiJonathan Zawada

    21 January - February 1, 2014

  • Masculin Feminin

    Masculin Feminin

    Sandra SeligJulie FragarMaria CruzGemma SmithMoya McKennaElizabeth PulieJustene WilliamsDiena Georgetti

    24 February - March 17, 2012

  • Ten


    John ArmlederSydney BallMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberJulia GormanMarco FusinatoAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonAndreas Reiter RaabeTony SchwensenJan van der PloegJustene WilliamsPeter Wüthrich

    29 November - December 6, 2003

  • Paperwork 2

    Paperwork 2

    John ArmlederSydney BallMaria CruzA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerMarco FusinatoMatthys GerberJulia GormanKatharina GrosseAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonAndreas Reiter RaabePeter Wüthrich

    27 November - December 21, 2002

  • Maria Cruz

    Maria Cruz

    14 September - October 12, 2002

  • Hard Times Are Over

    Maria Cruz

    Hard Times Are Over

    24 October - November 24, 2001

  • Gold!


    Hany ArmaniousMaria CruzA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberJohn Nixon

    6 September - October 7, 2000

  • Maria Cruz

    Maria Cruz

    26 July - September 2, 2000

  • Xmas 1999

    Xmas 1999

    Hany ArmaniousMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayJohn NixonMike ParrAndreas Reiter RaabeJustene Williams

    8 - December 18, 1999

  • Maria Cruz

    Maria Cruz

    30 June - July 31, 1999

  • 1998


    Hany ArmaniousMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayJohn NixonMike ParrKerrie PolinessJustene Williams

    9 December, 1998 - January 30, 1999

  • Maria Cruz

    Maria Cruz

    19 - December 13, 1997

  • Christmas


    Hany ArmaniousJohn ArmlederMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonKerrie PolinessAndreas Reiter RaabeJustene Williams

    1 - December 30, 1997

  • Already Painting

    Already Painting

    Vicente ButronMaria CruzStephen LittleAnne-Marie MayJanet Shanks

    3 August - September 3, 1994