Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sadie Benning at Callicoon Fine Arts

I believe my first interaction with Sadie Benning's work was in the original building of Callicoon Fine Arts on Forsyth Street in the Lower East Side. I was doing the regular gallery hop, and happened by this tiny space with these great new edged paintings. Mostly shapes, flags, all put together in this very cool and interesting manner. Instead of canvas, these are all made from plywood that was cut into the design she wished, and then carefully painted and put back together. Simple concept, totally NOT simple in the actual making of it.

My recent NYC trip, I was out on a Sunday, which BTW is a GREAT day to gallery hop in the LES of NY. Very few people around, much less tourists running in and out, snapping a few selfies and then leaving, onto the next space. Delancey Street is quite the busy street, except for galleries, there are very few on that street, another recently moved further east, but that's another story. Callicoon has been on Delancy for a couple years now in a much bigger venue for their artists, and it has showed in the quality and grandness of their exhibitions. Sadie is my personal favorite of their artists. We all have favorites and it's not bad to mention that one is your favorite. Her work has a directness to it, it's immediate but there is also the underlying sense of much more going on than what you immediately see. I recall taking in the craft of how she cuts all the ply up and then assembles it back together into these wonderfully playful paintings. I made sure to get some pics of details I feel will help you, the online viewer, get a better sense of what her work looks like in person. I dig the new designs she is coming up with, though the funny face was a bit kitschy for my tastes, I feel the sunset was my personal favorite work in the exhibition. I think her designing of landscape is something I would love to see more of. But her talent of coaxing imagery from a plywood panel in such a lyrical but calculated way is one that is supremely hers and I believe will keep her name on people's lists for many decades.

The exhibition runs at Callicoon Fine Arts until July 29th, 2016, so you have plenty of time to see it for yourself. 49 Delancey Street. NY.

Looking at details, I can see underpainting and I wonder if this painting was originally multicolored, or was just another monochrome that was eventually repainted to it's final state. Either way, it's a powerful painting.

Thanks for reading. Jeffrey Collins

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Columbus, Ohio, United States