Spotlight

Spotlight artist Teniqua Crawford

Championed by curator Carolina Pasti
The Wick - Teniqua Clementine Crawford, Fragment Horizon, Oil and Charcoal on Linen, 2024. © the artist and Todd White Photography
Above  Teniqua Clementine Crawford, Fragment Horizon, Oil and Charcoal on Linen, 2024. © the artist and Todd White Photography
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The Wick - Spotlight artist Teniqua Crawford
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Interview
Teniqua Crawford
23 April 2024
Interview
Teniqua Crawford
23 April 2024
Bodies become landscapes in the ethereal, delicate paintings and sublime sculptures of artist Teniqua Crawford, who seeks to reconnect the human with the natural world, through the grounding power of the female form. Using a muted, earthy palette and materials like bronze and charcoal – partly inspired by the rivers and caves of the South African coastline where the artist was raised – Crawford’s blocky, rough-hewn lines, whether painted, sketched or sculpted, make impactful statements with minimal details. Painting and sculpting from life, and drawing from memory and imagination, she intertwines the external and internal realms.

Bare and barely there, the recurrent subject of Crawford’s works is the female nude. Crawford responds to this classical subject with ambivalence – evoked by the blurring of figures, half-present, half-absent, a subtle dance with negative space. The raw energy of her bronze sculptures, meanwhile, play with ideas of masculine monumentality and feminine force.

Crawford’s champion for The Wick is the independent curator Carolina Pasti, who selected Crawford’s painting, Fragment Horizon, for her current exhibition in Venice, Breasts (on view until November at ACP Palazzo Franchetti as part of the official Biennale collateral programme). Pasti told The Wick that she was drawn to Crawford’s explorations of “themes of identity and selfhood, permanence, and impermanence.” Fragment Horizon explores embodiment, inviting viewers to contemplate their relationship with their own physicality. Crawford also makes connections between the human body and the natural world, crafting undulating silhouettes reminiscent of mountain ranges and winding rivers. Her work is very powerful and plays a central role in the exhibition Breasts!”

Crawford traces the roots of her artistic language to her upbringing along South Africa’s “wild coastline of rivers, cliffs, caves, mountains, horizons”, the artist explains, which inspired an interest in the relationship between “the human condition and the natural world – I was inspired to capture the human form, its presence and essence, its subtle language as an expression of our human nature and inner landscape.”

Among the many famous, Pop and Surreal works on show at the group exhibition, Breasts, including pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali Crawford’s painting, a fragment of a nude, reclining female figure that appeared to emerge from its raw linen canvas, stood out for their quiet and contemplative atmosphere. “The breast is such a powerful, fundamental symbol of the subtlety and power of the female being. My painting Fragment Horizon explores this through the figure as a fragment, captured in an ephemeral moment in time.”

The work reflects Crawford’s broader interest in creating “a quality of stillness, silence and solitude in my works”, she says. “I am interested in their power as a pathway to our inner selves and connection with the human condition; I am inspired by the ephemeral; absence and presence; the metaphysical.”

About the champion

The Wick - Spotlight artist Teniqua Crawford

Carolina Pasti is an independent curator. Formerly, she was the Director and Curator of the Schulhof Collection in New York. Currently, Carolina is developing numerous projects, curating private collections, and collaborating with foundations and institutions worldwide. Born and raised in Milan, Carolina earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Università Cattolica. In 2016, she authored the book A Life with Artists: Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof, which was published by Rizzoli, Skira. Pasti is the curator of Breasts on view at ACP Palazzo Franchetti, Venice until November 24, 2024.

Fragment Horizon explores embodiment, inviting viewers to contemplate their relationship with their own physicality”

Place of Birth

Johannesburg, South Africa

Education

Princeton University BA.
MFA from the A.R.T Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre School

Current exhibitions

Breasts, during Venice Biennale, ACP Palazzo Franchetti

Spiritual guides, mentors.

Nature. Meditation.

Advice

Protect your energy and time. Back yourself.


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