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Tamara Gonzales

Horrible Beauty

September 7 - October 23, 2021

Opening Reception : September 10, 2021 4-8 pm

September 10, 2021 will mark the opening of Tamara Gonzales’s fourth solo show with Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery. Titled Horrible Beauty, the show encompasses large scale canvases, a series of new works on paper, and sculptures. The title refers to a concept conceived by the American spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, about learning to embrace aging or decay in living beings.

Whether in her studio or traveling abroad, drawing has always been a constant in Gonzales’ practice. Her sketchbooks and drawing pads are filled with depictions of fantastical creatures resembling beings such as birds, snakes, humans or butterflies in garden-like settings. Gonzales combines a variety of media in her work, inventing different marks and textures to translate her experiences to paper. Where the hardness of colored pencil creates one kind of line, the softness of markers washed with water or the defined contours of graphite create something different. Horrible Beauty will feature the full scope of her material usage in her works on paper.

The scale of Gonzales’s paintings and their canvas surface allow the artist to explore imagery differently. Though her new paintings employ a framing device she uses in the works on paper, the inner areas are mistier and painterly, with bold colorful patterns created with lace stencils and spray paint. Areas of solid color are obscured with brushstrokes, looking back to similar areas in the drawings. More abstract than the works on paper, Gonzales talks about these painterly forms as beings emerging.

Some works in the show refer more overtly to the title. One painting is of a large bird-like figure, standing with arms/wings stretched, its face made from a found beaded mask. This painting is the most defined, and the most experimental in its use of materials. The central figure, created with collaged elements, is surrounded by pools of glitter, hand-prints, and heavily painted lines, creating a bold and graphic glow. Two sculptures made from a turkey’s wing and tail feathers are also included in the show. While driving on RT28 Tamara Gonzales found a perfectly intact body of a turkey that had been hit by a motorist. She later created fans with the feathers, which will be displayed in boxes made from cedar harvested in Woodstock, NY, near the site of the accident.

Taken together, works in this exhibition highlight an exciting range of visual languages, and display the depth of Tamara Gonzales’s practice.

exhibition review

Tamara Gonzales Exhibition Reviewed by The Brooklyn Rail

Tamara Gonzales' show Horrible Beauty was reviewed by Amanda Millet-Sorsa at The Brooklyn Rail. Millet-Sorsa discusses Tamara's practice, influences, and her personal style. Horrible Beauty is in the main gallery at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery until October 23.


Tamara Gonzales at the Beeler Gallery

Bianca Beck, Tamara Gonzales, and Christina Forrer, is on view at Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, OH Monday, Aug. 23–Saturday, Nov. 6. The show, curated by Greer Pagano is a consideration of how we collectively reset ourselves after COVID-19’s dramatic and fatal strike across our worlds.


Tamara Gonzales, "Cosmic Recess" at Providence College—Galleries

Tamara Gonzales’ site specific installation is on view at Providence College—Galleries organized by Kate McNamara. The show is up from March 17 – October 2. 63 Eaton Street, Providence, RI


Sound & Vision podcast with Tamara Gonzales

Brian Alfred interviewed Tamara Gonzales for his SOUND & VISION podcast of conversations with Artists and Musicians about the creative process.


Tamara Gonzales with Raymond Foye: New Social Environment #55

Painter Tamara Gonzales joins veteran host Raymond Foye for New Social Environment #55 to discuss the Brooklyn-based artist’s lyrical work, her free-spirited mother’s influence on her life, her experiences with protest and resistance in the 60s, and much more.


Hoodoo Metaphysics

144 page full color, soft cover book. Poems by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Drawings by Tamara Gonzales.

Artist Talk

Tamara Gonzales | New York Studio School

Tamara Gonzales gave a lecture about her life as an artist working and her studio practice.