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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
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
About the artist:
Tamara Kostianovsky (b.1974), 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); Musee 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
Upcoming solo exhibitions:
Denver Botanic Gardens (CO)
Ogden Contemporary (UT)
The Baker Art Museum (FL)
Galerie RX, Paris (FR)
Upcoming group exhibitions:
Newport Art Museum (RI)
Among many others, Kostianovsky’s artwork has been featured and reviewed in prestigious
publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, WBUR, The Village Voice,
Marie Claire, Repubblica, El Diario New York, Colossal, and Hyperallergic.
Tamara Kostianovsky lives and works in NY and is represented by Slag Gallery.