An artist’s notes: Christina Tenaglia

Left: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2010, wood, enameled copper, nails; Right: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2011, glazed stoneware.

Images by Julie Torres, text by Christina Tenaglia / In addition to drawing and keeping sketchbooks, artists often take notes throughout the process of making their work. The notes published herein are from Christina Tenaglia, whose unabashedly human and thoroughly investigated work is on view at Thomas Parks Gallery through August 10.

Tenaglia writes:

“Lists, not sentences. The words are references, not explanations. Lists are the best way for me to explain how I think about a group of objects or a collection of materials. Collections and materials are physical lists. A list can be an intensely condensed expression: an array of disparate elements joined together, packed, concentrated. It is a place where strange relationships can be investigated. A single item can break the flow and create a stutter. Similar items can create repetition, to both underscore and complicate.”

Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2019, glazed earthenware

“Without sentence structure, the list is an abbreviation, ideas are compressed and forced together. They are connected but disconnected, similar but dissimilar. The items can seem completely unrelated, but become linked through their inclusion in the list/collection (sometimes by a title).”

Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2019, earthenware, ink, wood, screws

 “There are no transitions; the joints remain flexible. A lack of transitions creates a space between items, a place to combine distinct items. There is intermingling; byproducts and tangents are created. There is banter in a list, a back and forth, read down the list, pause, refer back to the title or other items. Words act as suitcases, packaged baggage. Lists are not formulas, the text is not linear. They are montage, piles, stacks.”

Left: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2012, wood, paint; Right: Christina Tenaglia, site specific pencil drawing on wall and floor

“The combination of things is often undepictable: it is not a sum, but an outcome. While the work is not about language, lists are possible parallel situations to the presence of a collection of things. And even one item, a small suggestion, can begin to contaminate the list.”

Left: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2019, earthenware and screws; Center: Untitled, 2010, ceramic, glaze, graphite; Top Right: Untitled, 2011, glazed porcelain; Bottom Right: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2011, wood, paint, nails
Left: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2011, glazed stoneware; Bottom Left: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2012, wood, paint, site specific pencil drawing on wall and floor; Right: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2011, wood, paint; Far Right: Christina Tenaglia, Untitled, 2019, earthenware, wood, paint, screws

Christina Tenaglia: Parallel Situations,” Thomas Park Gallery, LES, 195 Chrystie St. #403D New York, NY. through August 10, 2019.

Note that Julie Torres, the photographer for this post, will be hosting an exhibition of Tenaglia’s work from August 18 through September 29 at LABspace, the gallery she runs with Ellen Letcher in Hillsdale, NY.

Related posts:
Julie Torres’ dispatches from Hudson, part 1
Julie Torres’ dispatches from Hudson, part 2
Immediate, physical, emotional: Studio visit with Elise Siegel
Objecthood: Joan Miró’s painted sculptures

 

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