Artist Statement & Bio
A finch flies over a sea of sand, near what we call Alamogordo, New Mexico. The finch looks through patches of dissipating clouds at the sand many miles below. A storm's aftermath is in the air, and the fiery sun is slowly rising. The clouds cast strange shadows on the sand. The finch suddenly sees red, and is then blinded and ceases to exist. One cloud turns red, purple, finally blue. This cloud was a dream, and this dream keeps occurring throughout the world.
Sonya Bogdanova works in the space between sculpture and painting to understand the icon's afterlife. She connects icons from the natural world with those of the manufactured, to approach a deep vision of disputed human history. Bogdanova is interested in devices that conceal a system's workings. Her objects, made of common things like clay, pigment and refuse, serve as passageways to hidden transformative places. Skeptical of established political narratives, she makes sculptures and installations that transmit suppressed knowledge, feelings, and behaviors.
Bogdanova is a Russian-Jewish immigrant who came to the US after the collapse of the USSR. Based in Chicago, she has shown in the US, UK, and South Korea. Selected exhibitions include the Chicago Cultural Center, Mana Contemporary (Chicago), Ignition Projects (Chicago), No Nation Tangential Unspace Art Lab (Chicago), Random Access Gallery (Syracuse, NY), Gallery 400 (Chicago), and Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (Gimpo, South Korea). She was an artist-in-residence at Holly & the Neighbors in 2021 and at Jiwar Foundation in Barcelona in 2015. Bogdanova holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a professor and educator at SAIC, Wright College, CAPE, and Marwen in Chicago.