Slag & RX
522 West 19th street, NY, NY 10011, United States
Tel: 001 212 967 9818
September 9 – October 15, 2022
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 1 PM and 2- 6 PM | Sunday and Monday closed
Slag Gallery proudly presents “Grafted Gardens” the first solo show of Argentinean-American artist Tamara Kostianovsky at the gallery. The exhibition, spread across the gallery’s entire space, features a new body of textile artworks connecting issues of violence, memory, and ecological destruction.
Central to this exhibition is a series of “tapestries” where naturalistic sculptures of native American birds appear to come from two-dimensional backgrounds of idealized American landscapes. The birds reference the rich Central and South American avian diversity that engendered the creation of myths, deities, and impressive feather works in this continent. Conversely, the background designs are inspired by designs belonging to European Colonial Decorative Arts, which presented the tropics as a paradise ready for exploitation. By synthesizing natural life in the Americas and European designs, this project explores the complex history of a particular region from two opposing stances—the colonizers and the colonized.
The exhibition will feature a group of life-size, three-dimensional “Tree Stumps” sculptures which pay homage to the artist’s late father using his clothes as material. In the wake of his passing, the artist took the corduroy pants and shirts that he wore for most of his life and alchemized them into “branches” and “bark.” Kostianovsky’s work is anchored in this materiality and concerned with regeneration –the passing of time, feelings of loss, and the final integration of the body to the landscape are some topics this project addresses.
Merging the history of colonization and plunder with contemporary issues such as Consumer Culture and Earth Justice, Kostianovsky’s works confront systemic histories of violence and transform them into architectural models or fabric maquettes of regenerative and sustainable possibility.
Tamara Kostianovsky was born in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1974 and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the National School of Fine in Buenos Aires and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Kostianovsky is the recipient of distinguished awards including John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2010), the New York Foundation for the Arts (2009), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2012, 2008), and Yaddo (2021).
Kostianovsky’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY (2021); Les Franciscaines Art Center, Deauville, FR (2021); Fuller Craft Museum, Boston, MA (2021); Musée du Textile et de la Mode, Cholet, FR(2021); Children’s Museum of Manhattan, NY (2020); El Museo del Barrio, NY (2007 and 2019); The Jewish Museum NY (2009); Slag Gallery, NY (2011 and 2021); RX Gallery, Paris, France (2021); Y Gallery, NY (2017); Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI (2015), and many others.