Tanya Ragir

Artist Statement

My life and my work are about overcoming limitations. Some are cultural, some political, some sexual—many are self-imposed.

I embrace the gravitas, the depth and breadth of the beauty of women, which is limitless. Growing up a dancer and being a woman informs everything I do as a sculptor. Movement and form are my language and vocabulary.

The loss of my father recently had a profound effect on me and on my work. I am aware of my own mortality in a way I have never been before. This catalyzed my current work, The Warrior Series, which centers around states of being—facing internal/external barriers, struggle and loss.

In the figurative realm, George Segal, Manuel Neri and Stephen De Staebler had an enormous impact on my development as a young California figurative artist.

Parallel bodies of work, which explore interiors of form, were deeply influenced by Georgia O’Keefe and Edward Weston. In this work I deconstruct the body to go beyond the limitations of figure-as-nude. Much of the work is inspired by the sensual relationship between landforms and human forms. By framing details of the figure as if through a lens and then changing the scale, it allows the viewer to have both a more intimate relationship to the form and a separation from its human reference.

Although these bodies of work may seem unrelated, they enable different aspects of who I am as an artist and a woman. One is deeply personal and narrative while the other reflects a pure love of form. Both are centered around the feminine experience.

I sculpt in clay. The finished pieces are fired or cast in bronze, aluminum, stainless steel and polyester resin. Sizes range from inches to monumental.


1976 BA University of California, Santa Cruz


Tanya Ragir resides in Los Angeles, California. She received a BA in Art and Dance from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Heritage Gallery as well as in over sixty national and international group shows since 1976. Recent awards include the Fine Art Connoisseur and California Art Club 101st Gold Medal “Exhibition Excellence” in Sculpture. Media coverage and published reviews include the Emmy-awarded “Two on the Town” TV show, LACMA Art and Architecture featured artist, Mannequin(feature film), Sculpture Review and Smithsonian magazines. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections including Artisan Walk in Brea, CA; Bakersfield Art Museum, CA; Frederick Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA; and Total Art Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea.

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