I look for processes that result in something I haven’t seen before. I strive to create objects in which a material acts like something other than itself, causing it to simultaneously be convincingly itself and convincingly something else. A combination of my reflections on my experiences and hangups regarding perception, the reading of many books of neuroscience, science fiction, and classic literature and experimentations with materials guides my practice.
In my current work I am developing my relationship with my primary medium, plaster. I am making poured plaster pieces that mimic aspects of painting and photography through gestures in a space of forced flatness. I negotiation with flat space through minimal actions and the addition of pigments.
These works address the larger questions of my practices regarding spatial and material reality, and value systems. They are my attempt at manifesting spaces-in-between; a space between two things that is so tiny and subtle that it is often overlooked entirely; the space in between liquid and solid, between two moments, between action and reaction, between perception and truth. The works create solid, tangible objects that flesh out words like interstices and verisimilitude where only intangible space was before.
Tania Houtzager lives and works in the San Francisco, Bay Area. She is currently an MFA candidate at the California College of the Arts. She has a BA from Hampshire College where she double majored in Studio Art and Art Education and she has a Masters in Design from the Auckland University of Technology where she researched art museum experiences. In addition to her art practice, Tania is the founder of an online art history project called Sartle.com and of the nonprofit art organization Embark Gallery where she is the Executive Director.
Tania grew up moving primarily between Chicago and San Francisco before leaving for Amherst, MA and then Auckland, New Zealand to pursue higher education. Below is a detailed biography of Tania's life noting moves, milestones and general points of interest.
1988 Born in Marin, California
1990 Move to San Francisco
1992 Move to Chicago, Illinois
1996 Move to London, England
1997 Move to Chicago suburbs, Illinois
2000 Move to Marin, California
2007 Move for Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts
2008 Spring Semester abroad at University of Auckland, New Zealand
2008 Summer study with HISA in Paros, Greece
2008 Summer camp teacher in Marin and art history classes at Cal
2009 Summer study in the Benelux with UC Berkeley
2009 Took Structural Drawing at Amherst College with _____
2010 Summer in Berkeley, worked at the Exploratorium, had a studio at Active Space and took art history classes at Cal
2010 Senior Thesis Show
2011 Teach and assistant teach 1st-6th grade visual art at Wildwood Elementary School
2011 Graduate with double major in Studio Art and Art Education and a Teaching Licensure for k-8 Visual Arts
2011 Birthright trip in Israel
2012 Move to Auckland, New Zealand for Masters in Design program art Auckland University of Technology
2012 Graduate from AUT
2012 Design Consulting for online museum project in Auckland
2012 Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro
2013 Moved to San Francisco
2013 Start Sartle LLC and move into office space at Fort Mason Center
2013 Start Post-Bac program at SFAI
2014 Complete Post-Bac
2014 Start Master in Fine Arts Program at California College of the Arts
2015 Start Embark Arts Inc and open Embark Gallery
2015 Change to part-time student at CCA
2015 Travel to Peru, hike and visit Machu Picchu
2016 Move in with boyfriend
2016 Hire Chris and Nicole to assist with Embark Arts
2017 Graduate from CCA
2017 Begin new education program and recent grad program at Embark
2017 Welcome dog into family