SEP – OCT, 2021
Tegeder’s first show in New York, Love, “Lust and Other Mechanical Systems” fell one year after 9/11, the work reckoning with the faulty promises of safe architecture. The World Trade Center careening into the sky, and dictating the horizon was a bastion of American nationalism and ingenuity, eventually becoming a site of incomprehensible trauma. Similarly traumatic was the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, sequestering most if not all to the four walls of their living space; for some, urban space became haven, for others, entrapment. With the economy trudging to a halt, the ability to exist safely within one’s home became ever-more precarious; how does one pay rent when there is no flow of income? The politics of living is not unbiased. Tegeder is an artist well versed in the gray areas of architecture. Having grown up within a family of steamfitters, she learned early the dialectics of architecture, and the bodies inhabiting the intricate plans. Bauhausian and Minimalist themes abound in Tegeder’s work, as well as much of the philosophies embedded in Socialist and Utopian-leaning architecture, constructions inspired by yearnings for better future. In Planos Temporales, we see the artist thus utilizing these histories as well as taking cue from the site of CMDX as a historical gathering place for both political exiles and the socialist ideologies they brought with them.
Between the crumbling binary pillars of architectural failure and success lies the hazy grey area of “what-ifs”, possibilities that refute the comfort of certainty. In Planos Temporales, Tegeders paintings and drawings operate within this uncertainty to engender alter-futures and ultimately create safe space. Tegeder’s work falls into these historical lineages, a structural homage to El Littitzkys Proun Room inhabits the middle of the main gallery. Designed by an all-female architecture firm, this structure acts as a receptacle for the artist’s work, inviting the viewer in to exist within a world all of Tegeders own, the structure within the larger schema of the gallery creating another space of refuge. Another aspect of world-building can be found mapped out in Tegeder’s intricate works on paper, clustered colorful squares and circles vibrating among the linear scaffolding of the drawings. Other pieces, ranging from delicate drafts on vintage ledger paper to Calder-esque mobiles also inhabit the structure, floating shapes that translate the drawings into three dimensionality.
Tegeder’s work in Show Title becomes an anti-promise, an expansiveness that allows simultaneously for multiple readings and keeps the metaphorical compass free of any determinate direction. As some areas of the drawings reveal stoppages in logical architectural “rules”, there emerges a fertile malleability, structures that champion inclusion and hold the viewer in a state of looking to a better future.