top of page

Back to the Future to the Russian Avant-garde

This time Dannielle Tegeder is extremely busy getting ready for her upcoming exhibition. However, she found time to meet with me and talk about her work. When I came to Dannielle’s studio we immediately began to exchange information. Listening to Dannielle and asking questions, I looked around at her paintings and graphics hanging on the walls and I thought that our conversation is much like her work whose style is simple and laconic. Composition is clearly lined up and balanced, and each element is logically connected with the others. So, nothing surprising that our conversation was managed in the allotted time.

When Dannielle said that her work is inspired by Russian Avant-garde and Constructivism, and some projects are based on the certain works of Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky and Vladimir Mayakovski, I was surprised at first, but in the course of conversation my surprise transformed into admiration, because, to my shame, Tegeder knows the history of Russian avant-garde much better than me.

Photos by courtesy of Dannielle Tegeder

The cross-disciplinary conceptual project "The Workroom for the New Constructivists" particularly caught my attention. The project was created in collaboration with other artists: a photographer, a printmaker, a blogger, a poet and dance performers at the Transparent Studio at the Bose Pacia gallery in Brooklyn. In collaboration with Abraham Avinzan, Dannielle wrote a response-based series of letters based on the love letters of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovski and “the muse of Constructivists” Lilya Brik. Avinsan wrote as Lilya Brik, while Tegeder as Mayakovski.

Another interesting project is "Library of Abstract Sound". It was fulfilled in collaboration with a programmer. Dannielle created a program which translated colors and lines into sounds. Each formal composition was translated into a unique sound-and-image animation, ranging in duration from thirty to one- hundred-and-twenty seconds. One hundred of drawings, evoking associations with both Malevich and Kandinsky, were placed on wood shelves. A computer monitor inside the room displayed the drawings one at a time so that the viewer could follow the musical arrangements as they unfold.

Photos by courtesy of Dannielle Tegeder

Although Tegeder’s work deeply connected with the heritage of the Russian avant-garde, the inner content of her work is related to the present day and American life. Tegeder says, that her work questions whether an abstract painting can still be political, as it was in the first half of the 20th century, or it finally lost its revolutionary energy. The original idea of ​​abstractionism is to demolish the old world and to build a new ideal one. Like any utopian dream, this hope is doomed to failure. In the near future Tegeder planning to do a project related to the US presidential election. Some of her works will be shown before the election and the others - after.


Dannielle has had solo gallery exhibitions, both nationally and internationally in Paris, Houston, Los Angeles, Berlin, Chicago, and New York. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions at various museums such as PS1/MoMA, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. She has been the recipient of many residencies and grants, including Yaddo, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Smack Mellon Studio Program, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Fellowship.

bottom of page