Sonya Bogdanova

Art form(s): Sculpture and Performance

CAPE Teaching Artist since 2021


2021, MFA, Studio Arts, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

2012, BFA, Painting, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL


Bogdanova is a Soviet-born Jewish immigrant who came to the US after the collapse of the USSR. Based in Chicago, she has shown in the US, UK, and South Korea. She has had solo exhibitions and presentations at the Chicago Cultural Center, Parlour and Ramp (Chicago), Ignition Projects (Chicago), Western Pole (Chicago), and Backspace Gallery (DeKalb, IL). Bogdanova has participated in group exhibitions and presentations at Flatland (Chicago), Gallery 400 (Chicago), Terrain Exhibitions (Chicago), Mana Contemporary (Chicago), Roman Susan (Chicago, IL), No Nation Tangential Unspace Art Lab (Chicago), G-CADD (Granite City, IL), Random Access Gallery (Syracuse, NY), and Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (Gimpo, South Korea), among others. She was an artist-in-residence at Holly & the Neighbors in 2021 and at Jiwar Foundation in Barcelona in 2015. She was named a 2023 Artist to Watch by Comfort Station in Chicago. Bogdanova holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an art professor at several Chicago institutions.

Artist Statement:

Sonya Bogdanova works in the space between sculpture and painting to understand the icon’s afterlife. She examines how the iconography of prehistoric sculpture, base metals, caves and stones, and ruins, undergird our experience of contemporary life. Bogdanova is interested in devices that conceal a system’s workings. Her objects, made of common things like clay, pigment and refuse, serve as passageways to transformative places. Skeptical of established political narratives, she makes sculptures and installations that transmit suppressed knowledge, feelings, and behaviors.