Luhring Augustine is pleased to present Leones, Flores, Constanzas, an exhibition of new paintings by the Argentine, New York-based artist Constanza Schaffner. Marking her first solo presentation with the gallery, the show will open on January 13 at our Tribeca location and remain on view through March 2.
Schaffner is interested in the often-contradictory forces that reside within the individual psyche, and the tensions that can arise between poetic and rational approaches to understanding and experiencing the world. In her doctoral dissertation on comparative literature, she focuses on strategies to “re-enchant” the contemporary world, which she sees as largely disconnected from the mythical, the magical, and the sacred – an investigation that permeates her artistic practice as well.
In Schaffner’s self-portraits, enlarged, exaggerated facial expressions are prevalent; flesh is realized with luminescence and translucence, punctuated by flickering highlights; pores, wrinkles, creases – signifiers of time and age – are lingered over and explored with her dynamic brushwork as sites for experimentation in abstraction. In works such as Nace el día and De Terror y de Gloria, an iris and a bat-flower become portraits of their own. Petals and stems consume and lift off the canvas in densely rendered contrast, with vessels and veins suggesting traces of vibrant life on the cusp of decay. In La Entrada del Tiempo, a symphony of flowers sprouts out of the heads of two male lions and Constanza. While one lion is captured in a moment of reflection, or dozing off, another looks at Constanza, staring back at the artist with her own eyes. Throughout her work, Schaffner examines tensions that reside within beauty, gender, and power.
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. She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Comparative Literature in New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.