About The Work

Diana Shpungin’s artistic practice is dedicated to challenging ideas of drawing through sculptural and time-based forms. Her works are led by what curator Rachel Vera Steinberg coined as a heart-strong conceptualism, involving obsessive processes while exploring themes of memory, failure, loss, and repair, –employing optimism in a quest for empathy across identity lines.

The use of graphite pencil, both permanent and denoting erasure, is the foundation of the work. While an obsessive language of materials/techniques has been gleaned based on Shpungin’s late surgeon immigrant fathers frugal methods in medicine/domestic life. The sculptural works function as drawings in space, meticulously coating objects with graphite pencil as if they removed themselves from the picture plane and into bodily space.

Concerned with beauty as a sublime idea rather than as a straightforward formal element, the sentimental both seduces and repels. However, that duality has become a necessary element in the work, always looking for a balance between form and content, superstition and logic, light and darkness, science and the sentimental, public and private, personal and political, and the poetic and the rational.

All these methods maintain a peculiar sense of longing, –the subject matter may directly address this, a formal sensibility of tension may be employed or longing can be implied by way of a self-imposed conceptual failure, –often having a purposeful yet ambiguous sense of incompletion.