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Sonya Blesofsky

Studio grant holder in Stockholm 22 January – 28 April 2019

Sonya Blesofsky (USA), born 1978 in Boston, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

My artwork deals with urban change – how the unfixed nature of the city presents itself as an endless pattern of decline and growth. Architectural decay and structural failure combined with hyper-accelerated development create the continuous and cyclical layering of history that serves as my source material.

I am interested in issues that come with urban development, such as the fragility of communities and lost histories, but I also intend these concerns to serve as metaphors for more personal subjects: memory, transition, trauma and loss.

Each sculptural artwork I create is site-specific – literally made from or attached to the space in which it is installed – and is emblematic of the history of that place. I work in a direct manner, improvising with materials on-site, as a way to make meaning and understand my surroundings and our current place in history. My installations highlight events such as a notable building burnt to the ground by arson, a window bricked-over during redevelopment, a doorway widened during building modernisation, or an historic structure razed in a step towards neighbourhood revitalisation reflecting a community’s changing priorities. Through each architectural intervention in a space, I intend to highlight traces of the past as a way to memorialise what came before, frame the present, and inform the future.

Blesofsky received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BA from UC Santa Cruz. She has held numerous residencies including Urban Glass, the Lower East Side Printshop, Museum of Arts and Design, Smack Mellon, Dieu Donne, Vermont Studio Center (fellowship) and the California Legion of Honor. Blesofsky’s work has been shown at galleries throughout New York as well as in Miami, San Francisco, Kansas City and other US cities. Blesofsky’s work has been written about in the Village Voice, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, NYFA Current, Art Fag City, and the Brooklyn Rail. Blesofsky was recently a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.


Watch video interview with Sonya Blesofsky here