Constanza Schaffner’s work explores the often-contradictory forces that reside within the individual psyche, and the tensions between a poetic versus a rational approach to understanding and experiencing reality. Her practice is driven by a desire to re-enchant a contemporary world that is largely disconnected from the magical and the sacred. Imbued with drama and humor, Schaffner’s paintings frequently incorporate self-portraiture—both physical and psychological—and are as much a platform for questioning the self as they are an attempt to recuperate aspects of a mythical, if imagined, past. Pores, wrinkles, creases, and facial features become opportunities for expressive abstraction within her figurative compositions. Schaffner’s emphatic and dynamic brushwork, evocative color palette, and lyrical use of line and form enliven the surface of her paintings, infusing them with a rich materiality that conveys the urgency and zeal of her aesthetic project. Schaffner draws inspiration from a wide range of literary sources, archeological objects, and artforms, including magical realism, epic poetry, experimental French cinema, classical opera, Latin American folk art, and Byzantine mosaics, to name but a few. Her work is largely informed by her studies in philosophy and comparative literature, the discipline in which she is currently completing a doctorate degree at New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Constanza Schaffner was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1989. Her work has been exhibited at CENTRAL FINE, Miami Beach, FL; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; Plymouth Rock, Zürich, Switzerland; Bortolami, New York, NY; Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, England; Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles, CA; and Galerie Houssenot, Paris, France. The artist’s work is included in the permanent collections of Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; and the Hall Art Foundation, Reading, VT. Schaffner’s first solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine is planned for the fall of 2023. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.