Process and Progress: Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon

Process and Progress: Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon

On View from October 05, 2012 – October 27, 2012

Opening Reception:  Friday, October 5, 6-9pm
Location: 305 E. 140th Street, #1A, Bronx, NY

Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is proud to announce Process and Progress: Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon, the first in the series of four exhibitions that invites artists and architects to engage with systems of urban development in the Bronx and beyond. Process and Progress is presented in BRAC’s temporary gallery space (also home to BronxArtSpace) in Mott Haven while its facility is undergoing renovation.

The exhibition series, Process and Progress: Engaging in Community Change, highlights the Bronx River Art Center’s development during a time of significant structural and cultural change in the borough. BRAC’s major building renovation project, now underway, is leading the way for more environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced designs within the West Farms Community. At the same time, the surrounding area has become home to new and imminent urban development projects that plan to dramatically alter the landscape and its residential makeup. A proposed real estate development located across the street from BRAC’s facility will be the largest housing complex initiative in the Bronx since Co-op City, one of the largest cooperative housing developments in the world. In addition, the West Farms Rapids section of the Bronx River Greenway, slated to open alongside our facility in the near future, will allow direct access to the river and will link BRAC with the Bronx Zoo and other important sites in the borough along a new corridor of green space. These developments will inevitably transform the built environment, social fabric, and cultural composition of our community.

Artists Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon have individually researched these and other urban development projects in the West Farms area during a focused one-month period. For the first exhibition in the series Process and Progress, the artists created new works that are directly informed by their time engaged with the neighborhood.

Sonya Blesofsky creates work based on the built environment inspired by her daily commutes around New York City. Influenced by structure, construction and urban renewal, her Bronx-based series depicts the old with the new—future developments, historic architectural details, forgotten spaces, and scenes taken from the BRAC building under construction. Her installation features a bricolage of drawings and 3-dimensional forms, overlapping and juxtaposed with one another to reflect the inconsistencies at play within the landscape of West Farms. Her project is based on a series of street-level studies and research regarding future developments and change in the area.

Lan Tuazon presents a series of works titled Fault of Form, architectural explorations of utopian and public housing designs. Using the traditional Japanese craft of Kirigami, cut and folded paper, she built four composite sculptures inspired by utopian designs such as Charles Fourier’s Phalanstère, Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist City, as well as abandoned housing developments such as the Sails of Scampia in Italy and newer developments such as Pinnacle@Duxton in Singapore. These sculptures are accompanied by a series of prints titled Shadows of Malevich’s Ghost, utilizing silhouettes of similar utopian structures overlaid with cityscape prints of the Bronx. Tuazon's search for the ideal is echoed in the work Cloud Sentences, drawings that use clouds as words to write a forecast of the future through understanding the present.

Artist Bios:

Sonya Blesofsky received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA from UC Santa Cruz. She has held Artist Residencies at the Museum of Arts and Design, CUE Art Foundation, Artist’s Alliance, Smack Mellon, Dieu Donne, Chashama, LMCC’s Workspace: 120 Broadway, Plane Space, and the California Legion of Honor. Blesofsky’s work has been shown at Mixed Greens, Cleopatra’s, and Smack Mellon in New York City and at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Swarm, Mission 17, and Pond in San Francisco. She has also shown nationally at galleries in Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Washington DC. Upcoming exhibitions and residencies include the Vermont Studio Center and the Freedman Gallery at Albright College.  Born in Boston and raised in California, she currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Blesofsky is represented by Mixed Greens gallery in New York City.

Lan Tuazon (born in 1976 in the Philippine Islands) is an artist living and working in New York. She has exhibited two recent solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum and the Storefront for Art & Architecture in New York, Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, the Bucharest Biennale 4, and at the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart. Lan Tuazon received her MFA from Yale University and BA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art. She has received artist fellowships and support from the Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. 

Image Caption: Lan Tuazon, Faults of Form, 2012, paper, 24”x24”

This project is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation's Art and Technology Program, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Majority Leader Joel Rivera, and the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

During our 2012/13 exhibition season we will share a gallery space with BronxArtSpace, an artist run gallery directed by Mitsu Hadeshi and Linda Cunningham. BRAC and BAS will present alternating months of programming over the course of the year. Please see their website for more information.