Leyla Cárdenas was born in 1975 in Bogotá, Colombia where she still lives and works.
She received her MFA in sculpture from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Cárdenas installation, sculpture, mixed-media work delves into urban ruins and cities landscapes as indications of social transformation, loss and historical memory. Remains, fragments, discarded structures, are used as material for her work, with a sculptural strategy that is as much destructive as constructive.
Her work has been shown at Casas Riegner Gallery-Bogotá, Palais de Tokyo-Paris, Galería Max Estrella-Madrid, CAM-Raleigh, Institute of Contemporary Art-SanJose (SJICA), LACMA (Los Angeles), Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), Marres and Bureau Europa (Maastricht-NL), NC Arte-Bogotá, Galería Josée Bienvenu-NY, Museo de Arte Moderno-Medellín, Maison de l ́Amérique Latine-Paris, Apexart-New York, Banco de la República Bogotá, Museo La Tertulia-Cali. In addition she has had solo shows in Bogotá, Madrid, San Jose and Los Angeles(CA).
Recent awards and commissions include: Winner Oma Award 2016 (Artbo), NEARCH-Art and Archeology “The Materiality of the Invisible” residency at the Jan Van Eyck Academie -Maastricht, 2015-16. Winner of the 2012 Biennial Award of Bogotá, selected for LARA (Latin American Roaming Art) a project of Asiaciti Trust 2012. She was selected to participate in a workshop with Mona Hatoum at Fundación Marcelo Botin-Spain 2010, and also she was an Associate Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in 2007. Winner of the Grand Prize MOLAA Awards 2008-Museum of Latin American Art, CA.
She has worked as a lecturer in Sculpture in various universities.
She has been written about in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Wallpaper Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Art Nexus, among others.