A public garden & cultural center

Sonya Blesofsky

Sunroom Project Space | May 27–July 9

Pictured above: Study in Proportions: Penn Station Façade, 2016; Found wood, paper, glue, scarped paint, plaster; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

Sonya Blesofsky’s work explores the traces of history that can be found embedded in architecture. She is interested in issues that come with urban development, such as the fragility of communities and lost histories, as well as how these issues serve as metaphors for memory, personal upheaval, transition and loss. For her project in the Sun Porch, she is inspired by the former estate’s history of architectural changes, specifically at the site of Glyndor House, which now houses the cultural institution’s art gallery. Blesofsky’s source is an archival image of Glyndor I (the current building is Glyndor II), which shows the extensive damage caused by a fire that devastated the building in 1926.

Situated diagonally in the gallery space, her sculptural installation recreates Glyndor I’s gambrel roof, gable dormer windows and exterior shutters. Instead of reconstructing these historic elements with their original materials, however, the installation is crafted from paper, tape and glue, as well as found wood and found metal siding. From one side, this architectural piece brings to mind the suddenly exposed walls of the interior of a burned building; from the other, it resembles the untouched façade of the original house. Viewers can walk around the installation and view the opposing messy interior and pristine exterior of the work. This sculptural gesture speaks not only to the changing nature of this historic site, but also asks visitors of historic buildings to question what is “historic.” In addition, this artwork addresses not only changes at Wave Hill—where the buildings have undergone significant renovations over its history—but also the vast architectural changes taking place all over New York City in response to changes in the housing market or to unforeseen events, representing universal issues of transition and change.

Sonya Blesofsky received an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA from UC Santa Cruz. Her work has been featured in national and New York-area exhibitions, including at Mixed Greens, Smack Mellon, Islip Art Museum and Plane Space. Blesofsky has participated in numerous residencies at New York cultural institutions such as Urban Glass; the Lower East Side Printshop; Museum of Arts and Design; CUE Art Foundation; Smack Mellon, Dieu Donné and LMCC’s Workspace: 120 Broadway, as well as the California Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA, and KKV Print Shop in Malmö, Sweden, a partnership with the Women’s Studio Workshop.

Click here to learn more about the artist. A release about the 2017 season in the Sunroom Project Space is available here.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.