Tanya Brodsky

Return to Artist List

Artist Statement

My work explores the capacity of everyday spaces, objects and architectural structures to dictate the choreography of social interaction. Informed by my childhood experiences of the often absurdist failings of late Soviet architecture ⎯ my work is a response to structures that are charged with the anticipation of social change.

Moments where social structures and modes of behavior become tangible form are central themes of my work. A handrail, an exemplary object of these themes, has the potential to either facilitate or obstruct motion, channeling the flow of pedestrians into a normalized logical participation with social and state sanctioned paths and stairways. The scale and materiality of fences is suggestive of who is to be kept in or out.

I create sculptures and installations that reveal the underlying formal properties of familiar environments through slippages in use and use value. The failure of utilitarian objects to function as expected reveals the intentionality of their design. My work questions utilitarian structures through slight subversions, shifts in scale, placement and context. Forms are deconstructed and repositioned, necessitating new visual and physical modes of navigating once familiar environments.

My material choices draw upon the history of minimalism, utopian architecture and the visual language of commercial appeal. Humor and sexuality emerge as means to problematize and question the gendered history of material engagement. Glossy finish is contrasted with chunks of concrete, references to “women’s work,” laundry and the embarrassment of stained undergarments, stand in opposition to elements of modernist architecture.


UC San Diego – MFA, Class of 2016
The Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles, CA – Class of 2013
Rhode Island School of Design – BFA, Class of 2005

Grants & Residencies
SOMA Summer Program (fellowship) – Mexico City, 2016
Vermont Studio Center (Artist Grant) – Johnson, VT, 2015
Graduate Research Fellowship – UC San Diego, 2015
Russell Grant – UC San Diego, 2015 & 2016

Exhibition  History
– Gem and Mineral Expo Artist Rocks Sale – silent auction fundraiser for HDTS. High Desert Test Sites, Los Angeles, CA, March, 2017.
– Amplify Compassion – benefit auction for the ACLU. 356 Mission, Los Angeles, CA. January, 2017.
– Bright Resolutions – three person exhibition. CES Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. December, 2016.
– In a crush, yet not resentful – solo exhibition. Visitor Welcome Center gallery, Los Angeles, CA. November, 2016
– In/Ex – three person exhibition. Actual Size gallery, Los Angeles, CA. October, 2016
– Cabinet of Curiosities – curated by Carl Berg. Union Station, Los Angeles, CA. July, 2016.
– In-store installation and object editions. Art Catalogues, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA. June, 2016.
– Dossier Thalamus – curated by Selene Preciado. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA. May, 2016
– Friends & Family – MFA thesis exhibition. Main Gallery, UCSD, San Diego, CA. May, 2016
–  Printed Matter Los Angeles Art Book Fair. Installation and object editions in collaboration with Art Catalogues LACMA and wHY Objects MOCA Geffen, Los Angeles, CA. February, 2016.
– 7) Tanya Brodsky, Sofía Londoño, Ellen Schafer. SPF15 Exhibitions, San Diego, CA. January, 2016.
– POSEUR – tabled exhibition of artist books. Land and Sea, Oakland, CA. November, 2015.