Ivana Brenner

2022 Aim Fellow


Argentinian born, Ivana earned her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a merit-based full scholarship.

She was an artist-in-residence at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2009-2010) and at Biennale de Portneuf, Québec, where she also exhibited in 2015. She was part of NYFA’s 2020 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program.

Ivana has shown individually at Galería Vasari, Buenos Aires, and at Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami. She has participated in international gallery and museum shows, amongst which at Julio Artist-Run Space and Galerie 0fr, Paris; The Franklin, Chicago; Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, and Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ.

She recently wrote a catalogue essay for the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist Statement

I make sculptures that are abstract yet bodily and sexual. My practice is intuitive and
process-based, involving material research focused on clay and paint skins. I develop my own techniques to create what I conceive as non-human bodies that evoke fleshiness, body fluids, and fertility in an attempt to give anima to inert matter.

I am fascinated by the transformational aspects of materials. I prepare paint patches that I lay to dry, and when they are still soft and flexible I extend them, skin-like, on cold stoneware bodies. Other times I hang these skins from rods, giving a brutal aspect to an otherwise delicate materiality. In my ceramics I create dissonance and flirt with the abject by contrasting precious materials like gold with masses of brute, humble, mud-appearing clay. When I work on site-specific installations I treat buildings as bodies that host an organism growing out of them. In these projects I take over walls, staircases, nooks and floors, playing with the construction’s own accidents – such as cracks and signs of physical decay- and making sterile architecture feel alive.

Like life, love is vital: it creates something where nothing existed before. As a recent South-American immigrant I find challenging cultural differences in the way we relate to our bodies and hearts. Through my work I affirm the value of this connection almost as an act of resistance to cultural hegemony. Skins, fluids and other sensual expressions present in my pieces reflect the tactile process of how they are made and reconnect us with pleasure and emotions.

Untitled (Lunar), 2019, blue porcelain, gold luster, white porcelain shelf, 10 inches high x 5 x 12 inches
Untitled, 2017, paint skins, coppered iron rods, variable dimensions
Untitled (Baring the Teeth), 2018, paint skins, stoneware, gold luster, 22 x 12 x 5 inches
Nothing is Yet in its True Form (Iteration), 2017, Joint compound on walls; raw red clay, pigmented water. Variable dimensions
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