chashama is proud to host a new exhibition curated by artist Sessa Englund. Opening next week in our 1155 Avenue of the Americas gallery space, Kunst!Kunst!Kunst! features new, large scale paintings that tread the line of figuration and abstraction by artists Laura Tack, Lucia Love and Sessa herself.
We spoke to Sessa about the exhibition, and what we can expect from these exciting new works.
Alex Teplitzky: What personally and theoretical has informed your art practice?
Sessa Englund: Personally my art practice has been informed by a rather wide range of topics, many of them not related to painting. I work in a lot of different modes and a lot of different materials so I tend to find inspiration in artists who work in a similar way. I find a lot of my personal inspiration from the design world, however I think a lot of people misinterpret what I mean when I say this. What attracts me to it is the utopian and socially-conscious aspect of design practices, the idea that art serves a larger social function: that it can have a social improvement to peoples lives as a collective, and not just live within the artist-dealer-collector relationship.
Painting for me is the most responsive material. I find that my art always tends to deal with the commodification of identity and creativity. I think that for artists in NYC, who are under much pressure to considering their creativity and ideas as commodities, it’s hard to get a way from this aspect when creating work. A lot of my work is centered on deconstruction and examination of materials as a very personal, almost knee-jerk response to trying to distance myself from the idea that painting only has to exist in this one linear trajectory.
Growing up I read a lot of Henri Lefebvre, I have a bit of a hard time with it now, but I think whilst growing up “Critique of Everyday Life” really had an impact on me. I think it laid a lot of the initial ideas about how I want to approach what culture means to me and what art is for me. Within the context of this show (which is a more traditional painting show) all of these inspirations and thoughts find a tactile and spontaneous outlet.