Alexandra Kehayoglou (Buenos Aires, 1981) is a visual artist who works primarily with textile materials. She creates her pieces in her studio in Buenos Aires, utilizing a wide array of technical skills with which she produces works combining textiles, sculpture and installation. She is primarily interested in production processes bringing together art and craft, and develops functional works as complete works of art, in which knowledge of the materials, the technique, and spectator are inseparably intertwined.
The pieces are made with surplus materials, weaved with the handtuft technique using a machine which the artist manipulates upon vertical frames, inserting stitch by stitch. The production process is arduous and long, requiring much physical effort and a very precise technique.
Kehayoglou’s repertoire includes memories of various native landscapes that the artist has visited and desires to preserve over time. Her renowned pastizales (grasslands), fields, and shelter tapestries are like sublime realities which the viewer can contemplate or utilize. Each one is unique, with a texture, weave and palette that will not be repeated. Each piece is created from an ancient family tradition that nonetheless gives new meaning to the craft of weaving by hand.
In 2014, Kehayoglou created a major collaboration with Belgian designer, Dries Van Noten. She developed a carpet of fifty metres long inspired on John Everett Millais’ Ophelia. The textile installation was first used as a catwalk at Paris Fashion Week, and later as a place for the models to rest at the Spring Women’s Collection of Van Noten. This so-called ‘magic carpet’ was exhibited in 2015 in PMQ, Hong Kong, and in Berlin as part of the Berlin Gallery Weekend.
In 2016, Kehayoglou presented the ambitious installation No Longer Creek at Design Miami/Basel, decrying the decimation of the Raggio creek in Buenos Aires. The interactive large-scale work was developed in response to the fair’s focus on landscape featuring both conceptual and industrial innovation.
In October 2016, the work Repoussoir for a New Perspective was exhibited at the Onassis Foundation, New York, as part of the festival Antigone Now. In visual terms, this carpet treats the exploitation of geological phenomena on the island of Milos in the Cyclades, which through mining and industrial use, has witnessed the extinction of enriched minerals.
At the end of 2017, The Triennial of The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, included Kehayoglou’s work Santa Cruz River. The work is an interactive installation part of an extensive research project about the future damming of the Santa Cruz River in the Argentinian Patagonia. This project showcased her critical vision of a disappearing landscape, and premonition of a future ecocide in one the most significant glacial rivers in South America.
Alexandra Kehayoglou’s work has become renowned as an outcry against deforestation and devastation, and for its call for environmental awareness. It is also a warning against the extinction of the wilderness, as well as a strong voice for changing a complacent society which does not seem sufficiently worried about the drastic climate changes brought about by mankind’s intense presence on Earth.
In September 2018, Kehayoglou presented the work What if All is at the Chiostro del Bramante, Rome, in the context of the exhibition ‘Dream’, curated by Danilo Eccher. Her new large-format site specific tapestry explores the disappearing tribes of Patagonia, and their relationship with cave-like landscapes and rock paintings.
Selected exhibitions include: Borderline - Miniartextil, Textile Museum, Varese, Italy (2017); Tissage/ Tressage...quand la sculpture défile, Villa Datris, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France (2017); Borderline - Miniartextil, Le Château du Val Fleury, Gif sur Yvette, France (2017); The Sunshine Eaters, Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto, Canada (2017); NGV Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017); 27th International Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Arte&Arte Associazione Culturale, Como, Italy (2016); Art in Art, Museum of Contemporary Art MOCAK, Krakow, Poland (2016); The Veterans, Dio Horia - Contemporary Art Platform, Mýkonos, Greece (2016); Wall to Wall: Carpets by Artists, MOCA Cleveland, USA (2016); No Longer Creek,, Design Miami/ Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2016); Glacier, Human Nature, Chamber NY, New York, USA (2016); Pastizal DVN, PMQ - The Qube, Hong Kong (2015); Pastizal DVN, Berlin Gallery Weekend, Berlin, Germany (2016); Senderos, Journeys of the South at Friday Late Nights, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2016); Pastizales, Praxis International Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012); About Change, World Bank, Washington, USA (2011); Troqueles vaca, Praxis International Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008).
Alexandra’s work is created from an ancient family tradition that gives new meaning to the craft of weaving by hand. A publication featuring an overview of her projects will be published by Verlag der Buchhaundlung Walther König, in 2022.