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Shanie Tomassini: Slippery Clump


Welcome to Slippery Clump, the solo exhibition by this year’s UMLAUF Prizewinner, Shanie Tomassini. Since 2004, the Prize has been awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student in Art from the University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Umlauf taught for 40 years. This year’s juror, renowned artist Sedrick Huckaby, selected Tomassini from an impressive group of UT’s emerging artists.


Each of these sculptures began as a small, handmade clay object that was digitally enlarged, cut out of foam with a CNC router, and coated with sprayed cement. As the sculptures grew in scale, their surface areas increased and changed. The large surfaces now host misted water droplets and new biological growth. Someday they will return to their original molecular level.


Tomassini is interested in “challenging the integrity of the things” that surround her. Her whimsical concrete-coated sculptures include a giant two-faced head, a donut, and an enormous plant. Many of her oversized objects resemble relics from an older era. For example, the flip phone, the old laptop, and radio-like gadget are all outmoded communication devices. Tomassini recreates them into hardened, aging artifacts. She also embedded sculptural impressions into the wall, creating familiar shapes that exist only as negative space, but can evoke paleolithic cave paintings.


Some objects are covered in moss, which will continue to grow during the show. Knowing that she would be exhibiting in a sculpture garden, Tomassini decided to bring the garden into the sculptures.

Image Gallery

Exhibition Brochure

Please take a look at our educational brochure, written in conjunction with the UMLAUF exhibition.

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