contemporary art / history of art

Tamara Stoffers

Born in 1996 in Zwolle, Netherlands, Tamara Stoffers studied fine art at the Academy Minerva in Groningen, Netherlands. Additionally, she frequented courses at the Klassieke Academie. Since her graduation in 2017, she participated in several group exhibitions in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but also abroad in Brussels (Belgium), London (England) and Stockholm (Sweden). Her first solo exhibition “The New Past” was at The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow in 2019.

The exhibition consisted of collages composed of photos found in old books about the Soviet Union. The oeuvres are grouped in series named after the publishing year of the initial book. One of them is our artwork of the month April 2019 “Voronezh”. Tamara’s creative process is strictly analogue in its basis. She literally cuts the single elements out of their context and composes them to a new oeuvre. Only afterwards, she scans the completed collage to print it in different sizes and limited editions.

Even though born after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tamara is fascinated by this disappeared culture, with its typical visual language. At the age of 18, she started to collect objects connected to the era of the USSR. Later, in 2015/16, she visited the exhibition “Soviet Design 1950 – 1980” in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Here she saw furniture, textiles, domestic appliances and utensils, toys, posters and extensive archive material. Inspired by the atmosphere and shapes of the objects, she started to incorporate it into her artistic practice. Examples are the above-mentioned collages, where she playfully creates new, often surrealistic situations. In doing so, she approaches a for her incomprehensible past, which becomes more accessible to her by this process. Other rapprochements are sculptural cachepots in form of a Lenin bust. Recently, she approached social realism also in painting. Her “Pickle Factory”, which she announced as a seemingly accurate Soviet painting of Socialist Realism from the 1960s is our artwork of the month in December 2021.

However, Tamara’s artistic work is not limited to her personal reappraisal of the Soviet Union. Besides collage and sculpture, she paints also and often combines different techniques. Her still-lifes are naturalistic with traditional compositions. Nevertheless, they have satirical elements and refer partly to our present. Sometimes there is embroidery added to highlight parts of the painting. Moreover, she works on an exceptional portrait series, where she does not show the traditional bust. On hand-shaped concave canvasses, she depicts one breast. In consequence, the portrait person cannot be recognized by everyone, but only by themselves, an intimate partner and the artist.

Tamara lives and works in Deventer, Netherlands.

Artwork of the month / April 2019