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Sadie Benning


Opening: Sunday, September 14, 6–8pm

September 14 – October 26, 2014

A photograph of the front of the gallery with the window at left and a black, red, and white artwork on the right wall.
A photograph of one large black, white, and red artwork on the left, and 2 smaller flat artworks that depict a cigarette carton on each surface, abstracted.
A photograph of the back quadrant of the gallery. There is an excerpt of a black, red, and white artwork at left; there are two smaller works to the left that depict cigarette cartons abstracted; and on the back wall at-right is a work with white and blue shapes.
A photograph of two small works next to each other with abstracted cigarette cartons on a black background.
A photograph of the back corner of the gallery: there are 2 small works with abstracted cigarette cartons on black ground at the left; on the right is a large work with blue and white shapes.
A photograph of the gallery with an excerpt of the white and blue work at left. There is a path to the back office gallery with a red, black, and white artwork on the right, and 2 other works excerpted in the background.
A photograph of another view of the back gallery. At left is the white and blue artwork on the front gallery's back wall; on the right is a view into the back gallery with a white canvas with pairs of bathroom figures in red.
A view of the back room of the gallery. There is one work on each of the three walls: the black-and-white polka dot work at left; a white surface with 9 pairs of figures found on bathroom signs; and a smaller work at right.
A photograph of the back gallery with 2 artworks: at left is a black-and-white polka dot work; at the right is a group of 9 pairs of figures found on bathroom doors on a white ground.
A photograph of 2 paintings in the back gallery that includes the white ground with 9 sets of bathroom figures in red; there is also a small artwork on the right wall.
A photograph of a small blue work on a wall in the back gallery. Further down the same wall there is a small work with black, white, and red shapes.
A photograph of the right side of the front gallery. There is a small work with red, white, and black shapes; on the right is a patterned work with red, yellow, black and white squares.
An artwork of predominantly black ground, with a square shape at right taking up the majority of the surface. There is a rectangle upon the box with a polka-dot pattern in black with small sets of black horizontal lines.
A composition of red, mustard yellow, black, and white colors in a checkerboard. Each color can be found in a diagonal of rectangles, connected at the corners.
A composition made of black, white and red. There are three black dots in the center of the work upon a white ground. A black line to their right intervenes upon a red area in the right-third of the surface. Above the dots is a black and white photograph, contents illegible. The bottom sixth of the surface is black.
A dark teal background with a black eye mask on the top quarter of the surface. At right intersecting the mask and moving downward is a white quadrilateral. At the bottom of the shape approximately in the center-right of the canvas is a square photograph in black and white.
A detail photograph that depicts the square photograph on the surface of the artwork. The photograph depicts a brick wall with multiple colored bricks, in black and white.
An artwork with a white ground. there are 9 sets of traditional bathroom figures (male at left, female at right) in 3 columns / 3 rows.
A black surface with four columns and 6 rows of white dots in similar but irregular sizes.
An artwork that is predominantly white, with 6 rows of white squares going across the surface. There are also navy blue rectangles, arranged in a slight angle to appear like rain falling down in the breeze. There are 9 columns of these rain-shapes.
An artwork of predominantly black ground, with a square shape at right taking up the majority of the surface. There is a triangle upon the box with blue and black gingham pattern.
A black surface with red and white shaped. The top row and third row are white, the second and fourth row are red. On the left half of the canvas, there are 3 rows of gun shapes (short vertical line with a slightly longer horizontal line); on the right half there are 3 columns of rectangles.

Press Release

Callicoon Fine Arts is very pleased to present an exhibition by Sadie Benning. Patterns is comprised of a new series of wall-based artworks, including some of the artist’s largest to date, as well as works that, for the first time, incorporate fabric and found photographs. Benning uses repetition and patterning in these works to evoke systems of social order and control, while also questioning the entrenched and compulsive behaviors that these systems— capitalism, war and gender binaries— create.

Julie's Rug, like all the works, is made from cut pieces of wood that have been coated with aqua-resin, sanded, painted and then reassembled. Comprised of a series of irregular rectangular forms arranged in rows and columns, the buffed and sprayed components in white, black, deep red and ocher rhythmically alternate across the large surface implying a continuation beyond the boundaries of the piece.

In the work Mask, a found black and white photograph is mounted onto the sculpted components. In this small work, the photograph is caught in a white beam emanating from a dark superhero-like mask — conveying a moment of perception and contact. What is seen is a domestic boundary wall made from highly contrasting patterned bricks.

In Gun Blanket, violence is implied by lever-like guns that fire out rows of rectangles all embedded in a black ground. They take aim at two neighboring paintings, Cig 1 and Cig 2, which are graphic depictions of cigarette boxes with fabric inserts for logos, pictorial spaces that signify both compulsion and comfort.

In the largest work, Rain Signal, the blue diagonal dashes depict rain falling while rows of white rectangles signify the ominous invisibility of military communication systems.

Each work proposes a way out of prescriptive orders even while they formally articulate those orders. Benning develops a visual language that strongly argues for the referential and connotative direction of experimental forms. It is a language that is shaped by the interactive and combustible relationships between drawing, sculpture and painting.

Sadie Benning was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1973 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Benning received an M.F.A. from Bard College and is co-chair of the film and video department, and a former member and co-founder of the music group Le Tigre. Benning’s work had been exhibited internationally since 1990 and is in many permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, The Fogg Art Musuem, and the Walker Art Center. Benning’s work was included the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art; in NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum; and in Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel and Artists Space, NY, and has been included in: Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); Whitney Biennial (2000 and 1993); American Century, Whitney Museum (2000); and the Venice Biennale (1993). Solo exhibitions include Participant, INC., Wexner Center for the Arts, Orchard Gallery, Dia: Chelsea, and The Power Plant. 

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