For this exhibition, New-York based artist Sadie Benning has created over 20 new wall-based works that occupy a hybrid space between painting, photography and sculptural relief.
Benning’s work illustrates how even familiar images are subject to constantly fluctuating interpretations based on context, scale and resolution. Within the work, fragments are enlarged or brought closer, photographs dissolve into painterly abstraction, and images remain mutable, reflecting an indexical relationship to the multiplicity of meanings projected onto them.
The large works in the exhibition such as Tree Mall (2018), originate from drawings which are then projected, resized and traced onto wooden panels. The panels are then cut into pieces following the lines of the drawing. Benning applies layers of aqua-resin onto each piece and sands them until smooth before painting and then reassembling the components. For the small-scale works including Sleep Rock (2018), Benning has developed a new approach that involves slowly layering resin and composite transparencies, with painted and photographic cut-out elements.
Benning’s work speculates on an aesthetic sphere uninhibited by fixed categories, in which images are always read next to, through or over one another, locked within composite forms that refuse medium-specificity. This in-between quality of Benning’s current work reflects decades of enquiry into the operation and influence of cultural material, beginning with Benning’s earliest video works made in 1989 and subsequent explorations in drawing, painting and music production. The process of amassing, recontextualising, editing, sequencing, and destabilising both found and original content continues to propel Benning’s practice.
Sadie Benning (b. 1973 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) lives and works in New York, USA. Benning has had solo exhibitions at Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL, USA (2016); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2017); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (2009), The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2008), Dia Foundation for the Arts, New York, USA (2007); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2005). Benning’s work has been included in group shows including Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon at New Museum, New York, USA (2017); Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; and MuMOK, Vienna, Austria (both 2016); Macho Man, Tell It to My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel, and Artists Space New York, USA (2013). Benning has participated in The Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, PA, USA (2013); Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008); the Whitney Biennial, New York, USA (2000 and 1993) White Columns Annual, New York, USA (2007); and the Venice Biennale, Italy (1993). Public collections include: ICA Boston, USA; BFI, London, UK; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; MCA, Chicago, USA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. USA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; MOMA, New York, USA; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)