IN SITU: Tramaine de Senna − MASTERBLASTER

Hy6c4905 laure cottin stefanelli


M HKA, Antwerpen

18 January 2020 - 23 August 2020

Tramaine de Senna’s work bears witness to the artist’s intense relationship with materials, but also to the “migration of forms” between different popular or material cultures, excess, and also the symbolic violence and ‘hauntology’ of histories, both trans-cultural and personal. Working primarily with sculpture, de Senna’s works float aesthetically between exuberance and repulsion. In appropriating different forms, surface qualities and palettes, these works adopt a position of reflection towards society’s ability to produce prosaic pop culture in conjunction with its cannibalism of symbols and human subjectivities.

For her solo exhibition at M HKA, titled MASTERBLASTER, de Senna presents a series of new works alongside a key selection of existing sculptures. Together, this constellation of works form a broader investigation of transitionary aesthetics and selfhood. The forms that comprise de Senna’s works can be seen as acts of resistance to the contemporary demands for foregrounding one’s biography or one’s relations to established constituencies of identity, in favour of something much more ambiguous. Under the saccharin hues and textures, lye things more unresolved, mutable and non-representational. In this exhibition, these works requires us to reconcile our desires with the enigmatic nature of de Senna’s works.

Tramaine de Senna is an artist from California who lives presently in Antwerp. In 2015, de Senna became a laureate of the HISK (Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten) in Ghent. In 2013, she earned an MFA from the Sint Joost Academy in Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL); and in 2004, graduated with two simultaneous BA degrees in Architecture and in Art from the University of California at Berkeley. Recent solo exhibitions include: Tramaine de Senna, Mélange, Cologne (2019); Supernatural, Pulsar, Antwerp (2019); and Tramaine de Senna, Art Centre Hugo Voeten, Herentals, BE (2015). Duo and group exhibitions include: New Movement, Boston, USA (2019); Universal Folklore – Farah Atassi & Tramaine de Senna, Permekemuseum, Jabbeke (2018); CO/LAB 4, Torrance Art Museum, California, US (2019); and Traumdepot: Plastik/Kunstoff, Bern, (2017); Two commissioned poster works are currently on view at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2019).

The IN SITU programme offers medium-scale monographic exhibitions by significant early- and mid-career artists from around the world. It focuses on the commissioning of new artworks and experimental practices in what is M HKA’s largest and most atypical exhibition space. The IN SITU programme is led by Nav Haq, Associate Director at M HKA.


On FRI 15.05.2020, a new open air sculpture by Tramaine de Senna is inaugurated in the framework of Public Figure #1. De Senna’s work is the first in a series of new commissions for the Stadspark of Antwerp initiated by Kunst in de Stad – Middelheim Museum and curated by Samuel Saelemakers.


Photo by Laure Cottin Stefanelli

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