Gabriela Vainsencher’s porcelain sculptures and wall reliefs combine archaeological and anatomical motifs that have appeared throughout her interdisciplinary practice of drawing, video, and photography. As an immigrant twice-over, she often experiments with materials and languages and uses images and objects as metaphors. In her recent work, Vainsencher draws inspiration from mythology, ancient Greek ceramic vessels and Roman frescoes, and archetypes of motherhood. Tropes such as the clock and the hourglass are conflated with the body’s biological time, and fertility symbols and reproductive organs coexist with less obviously maternal body parts such as hands and ears. The monumental multi-part installation “Mom” is both a literal snake-monster and a wielder of many manufactured tools that enable her maternal tasks. Vainsencher portrays motherhood as nuanced and multi-faceted, and both agelessly symbolic and specifically contemporary.
As a counterpart to Vainsencher’s ceramic practice, which draws from both historical vessels and the feminine body, her two photography series "Treasure of the Bible Lands" and "Back Dirt" are made by stacking cut-up pages from an archeology book with the holes piled atop each other—creating images that both replicate the chaos of an archeological dig while also creating new hybrid forms. Vainsencher prints the resulting photographs much larger than the original pages, revealing the materiality of the cuts and tears in the paper.
Vainsencher was born in Buenos Aires, raised in Tel Aviv, and currently lives and works in Montclair, NJ. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2016. Past solo and two-person exhibitions include CRUSH Curatorial gallery, NY, NY, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Hanina Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux, Le Havre, France; Parker’s Box Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; NurtureArt, NY; and La Chambre Blanche, Québec City, Canada. Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as Marisa Newman Projects, NY, Bergamo Modern and Contemporary Art, Italy; Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway; the Bronx AIM Biennial, NY, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, The Freies Museum, Berlin, and The National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canada. Vainsencher has been reviewed in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Brooklyn Rail, and Artforum, among others. Residencies include Yaddo, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Byrdcliffe Artist Residency, Triangle Arts Association (France), and La Chambre Blanche (Canada). She will be participating in the upcoming Jerusalem Biennale in Fall 2023. Vainsencher is the founder of the Morning Drawing Residency, and has written about art for Hyperallergic, Title Magazine and Tohu magazine.