A public garden & cultural center

Sonya Blesofsky

Sunroom Project Space | May 27–July 9

Pictured above: Afterimage, 2017; Charred wood, paper, paperboard, glue, hardware; 11' x 10 1/2' x 6'. Courtesy of the artist. Photos: Stefan Hagen

Sonya Blesofsky’s work explores the traces of history that can be found embedded in architecture. She is interested in cycles of development and destruction, the fragility of history and the recovery of lost narratives by exposing their remnants. For her project in the Sun Porch, Blesofsky is inspired by architectural changes at Wave Hill, a former estate, and specifically the site of Glyndor House, which now houses Wave Hill’s art gallery. Blesofsky’s source material includes archival images of Glyndor I that show the extensive damage caused by a devastating fire in 1926. The house had been built by George Perkins between 1903 and 1906, razed after the 1926 fire and then replaced the following year by the current building, called Glyndor II. Blesofsky’s project is a rumination on issues of memory, upheaval and transition elicited by this unfortunate event in Wave Hill’s past.

Situated diagonally in the gallery space, Blesofsky’s sculptural installation is inspired by Glyndor I’s gambrel roof, gable dormer windows and exterior shutters. The artist’s interpretation is crafted from white paper, tape and glue, and includes, as well, a wooden structure built and charred by the artist. From one side, this piece recalls a ghost-like, paper version of the original house’s façade, appearing like an afterimage that lingers in one's memory. From the other side, it evokes the suddenly exposed walls of the burned building’s interior. Thus, visitors can view the contrasting, collage-like exterior and the burned interior framework. A sculptural gesture that speaks to the changing nature of this site, the installation asks visitors to historic buildings to question what is “historic.” In addition, Blesofsky’s installation allows viewers to imagine Wave Hill’s past, uncovering its transition from a private estate to a public space when the Perkins-Freeman family donated the Wave Hill property and buildings to the City of New York in 1960.

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, New York, NY; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY; Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA; and Plane Space, New York, NY. Blesofsky has participated in numerous residencies, such as Urban Glass, the Lower East Side Printshop, Museum of Arts and Design, CUE Art Foundation, Smack Mellon, Dieu Donné, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace, the California Legion of Honor in San Francisco and KKV Print Shop in Malmö, Sweden, a partnership with the Women’s Studio Workshop. Blesofsky has been awarded a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony for summer 2017.

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 the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.