Amy Bennett‘s newest work captures viewers with cinematic scenes marked by stark contrasts. Reflective symmetry, gestural figures and overcast skies portend any number of human misfortunes. Past first glance, her acute realism reveals that she studies more still-lifes than she paints en plein air. Her crisp lines and angular brush strokes depict the multifaceted surfaces of a 13 x 3′ styrofoam and resin model of lakefront property she constructed in order to complete her recent work.
Bennett constantly reminds us that the emergence of a painting’s meaning is often tied to the artist’s process. Fabricated landscapes are flawlessly painted, accented with miniature figures gesticulating near the surface of a New England lakeside. Keen observation and technical ability help Bennett direct the viewer to explore themes like loss, solitude, and aging. Bennett also invites the viewer into her world, where protagonist often becomes narrator. In the end, we are trapped beneath a smooth, shiny, seal of lacquer that covers each painting and encapsulates the unfolding events in time.
The young artist’s professional career is an impressive, ten year, time-line dotted with multiple group and solo exhibitions, prestigious awards, and many high honor degrees. She uses a realistic approach to representation, likely influenced by her training at the New York Academy of Art, where she received her MFA in 2002. Bennett displayed her infatuation with fictional constructions early in her career, as witnessed last year at exhibitions Buried at Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden, 2007, and Size Matters: XS at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY, 2007. Her recent series, At The Lake, opened at the Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles on January 10th and runs through February 14th. In fall, the show will travel to the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo.