Tamara Zahaykevich: Hey Harmonica! KANSAS, New York, NY

Tamara Zahaykevich, 58008s, 2011
Foamboard, styrofoam, acrylic paint, and papier mache
9 x 10 x 4 inches

16 September – 29 October, 2011

KANSAS is pleased to present Hey Harmonica!, a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Tamara Zahaykevich. Opening September 16, the works will be on view through October 29, 2011.

The humble, wall-mounted and freestanding constructions of Tamara Zahaykevich have an undeniable rough-hewn charm. Fashioned from mostly cast-off, paper-related materials mined from the studio and street including Styrofoam, foam board, canned foam, found paper, paint and ink, the resultant objects are joyous celebrations of color, texture and form. Rife with autobiography and a myriad of influences as multifarious as Suiseki (Japanese Scholar’s Rocks), architectural maquettes, Mexican Handicrafts, the ceramic musings of Ken Price and the modernist inventions of Jacques Lipschitz; Zahaykevich’s method of collecting and transforming these sources is echoed in her handling of materials

Zahaykevich’s studio approach vacillates between a migratory uncovering of information and mindful predetermination, occasionally employing the use of computer programs to test color and generate renderings prior to construction and at other times fully embracing the “journey is destination” method. It is by simple gestures – spraying, carving, stenciling, drawing, building, and subtracting – and often complicated structural solutions, that Zahaykevich achieves unsuspecting compositional pairings that transcend materiality and engage real space. Decidedly raw and superfluous material scraps surround the artist in her studio and are left to ripen to a degree that’s deemed serviceable for use. Each work is a delicate, deliberate recipe of carefully chosen ingredients – a series of yellowing dollops of aged hot glue leaking through a seam, the rocky texture of broken Styrofoam set against a lazy ink doodle or patterned surface treatment – each individual component as important as the next. Shape and imagery reveal an acute personal inventory of experiences while still playing with and providing the foundation for an unwritten narrative. Zahaykevich manipulates and transforms the physical vulnerability of her material into a new way of objecthood that speaks just as much to the elemental tenants of formalism as it does to the urge for maximizing an aesthetic presence in the work and the physical space it inhabits.

The subjective exploration of imagined space inspired by the experience of a literal one has been a continued interest in Zahaykevich’s work; the physical understanding of her sculpture has a deceptive relationship to it’s actual size. Their private, toy-like scale allows for a unified study of form despite the disparate, even conflictive elements within each piece. Through economic methods, the connection of form to content with the confluence of constructed interior space and painted, illusionistic space makes for a crossroads of sculpture and painting that challenge the possibilities of what both a sculpture and a painting can be and how each is understood.

Tamara Zahaykevich was born in Livingston, NJ and received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at Bellwether Gallery, New York; Arena, New York and Gist Galerie, Amsterdam. Her work has been seen in such venues as Alexander and Bonin, New York; ICA, Boston; Feature Inc., New York; Tony Wright Gallery, Chicago and Galerie Les Filles Du Calvaire, Paris among many others.