Meet Constance Tenvik
(Photo by Tori Wrånes)
Originally from Oslo, Norwegian artist Constance Tenvik moved to the US in 2014 to finish her Master of Fine Arts degree at Yale University. Since last year, she's been living in Ditmas – a little bike ride from Brooklyn Botanical Garden. She's about to join the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship Program with five other exciting artists.
"We'll have conversations with each other and with mentors that'll culminate in a solo show each. I love stories and larger than life aesthetics and work across mediums with a happy palette and a playful attitude. My themes are connected to the human condition, embracing questions of life and love and death – questions that are often staged in the theatre. I like it when these things take form through visual tableaus, movement and sound, rather than being scripted."
Constance's show Gesamtkunst With Myself at Loyal Gallery in Stockholm just came down and showed textile paintings, drawings, small objects, a sculpture, and a video where she staged herself in all of the parts of the medieval love story, Tristan und Isolde. Her show included a pianist and dancers too as she loves working with other people. Right now she's collaborating with the highly imaginative costume designer Tessel Brühl for upcoming projects. Constance is currently planning three big shows that will keep her busy until 2019. Coming up is the first show Soft Armor (Myk Harnisk) in Oslo at UKS and Kunstnernes Hus.
In the gaps between work and sleep, Constance enjoys walking in Brooklyn Botanical Garden, reading at The Frick Library, bothering her friend Austin at a diner next to MoMA PS1 and in his studio. She also frequents Viva Soudan's Body Roll, which is a spandex induced dance class that takes place in Williamsburg. She loves the The Cloisters – the view, the unicorn tapestries, the playing cards. Otherwise she loves spending her free time in paradise aka her friend Kaya's place in Greenpoint.
Why did you move to New York?
Because of its ambitous energy and constant flow of people and things.
What makes New York like no place else?
It has a certain rhythm of loads of people passing each other in the streets, sounds entering and exiting, surprising interruptions. You can wear almost anything without feeling like the elephant in the room and I like that you can pulsate in and out of feeling big and small. It's definitely a place where you can take a good conversation out of a gallery space and into a restaurant – before you know it you're dining with a bunch of strangers that you may or may not meet again.
Where do you find the best exhibitions?
My exhibition rounds include Chelsea galleries like Gladstone, James Cohan, Hauser & Wirth, that kinda thing. For performance and video I like going to The Kitchen, New Museum, and The Whitney. I do the big museums of course – The Met, Met Breuer, Guggenheim, MoMa, MoMa PS1, and The Cloisters. Then there's The Drawing Center and Studio Museum in Harlem. It all depends on who's showing. Usually I get recommendations from friends, otherwise I read The New Yorker and such and browse on Instagram. There's always exciting art on view.
You're into burgers. Where do you find the best burgers in New York?
I wanna try NoMad. Last time I had a burger I had Five Guys with water and peanuts on the side.
Where do you go for the best food in the city?
Haloumi eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice and mint tea for breakfast at Mogodor. Eggs Benny at Russ & Daughters for lunch in the basement of the Jewish Museum. Dinner with friends at Glady's - strong drinks and Caribbean food. Whenever I'm stuck at Grand Central Station I grab a couple of oysters at the Oyster Bar – old school and lovely. The Smile has a nice salad section. I'm hearing Le Bernardin is superbe for fancy food. Korean BBQ at Insa. Must admit though that I often end up with a carrot from a vegatable market, a bean cake from a deli on the go, a pork bun in Chinatown, a big bowl of pho at Pho Grand or some cheap dumplings in the area.
And for drinks?
Troost has 5 dollar cava on tap.
And for dancing?
Trans-Pecos, if not another Body Roll class.
Where do you go for food after a late night out?
Aladdin Falafel Corner? Another horrid egg and cheese sandwich at the deli? Or Katz Deli perhaps. It never closes on Fridays. Deadly sandwiches and great pickles. I recommend sharing one. They're huge.
What are some hidden gems visitors should check out?
Probably good to find some architectural pearls in AIA guide to New York City.
If you were to move back to Oslo and never travel back to New York, what would you do on your last day?
I'd be bird watching in the Bronx Botanical Garden and later bring the same bird watching binoculars to The Met Opera, see something grand, maybe find someone with a motorcycle to ride over a bridge or two, and hug some friends.
Constance's guide to New York
515 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
Hauser & Wirth
548 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040
512 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
The Drawing Center
35 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013
144 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106
141 Wooster St, New York, NY 10012
275 Church St, New York, NY 10013
159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
44-19 Purves St, Long Island City, NY 11101
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City Building, Corona, NY 11368
1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
The Frick Collection
1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021
Stormking Art Center
1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY 12553
1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
101 Saint Marks Pl # 1, New York, NY 10009
Russ & Daughters Cafe
127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
788 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
26 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Grand Central Terminal, 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
328 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
M. Wells Dinette
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
277C Grand St, New York, NY 10002
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Aladdin Falafel Corner
Troost ($5 cava on tap)
1011 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385
Viva Soudan's Body Roll
230 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Bronx Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
The Frick Library
10 E 71st St, New York, NY 10021
The Met Opera
30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Metrograph Movie Theatre
7 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
Hudson Ferry from Dumbo