Weights and Measures

Where Are They Now?

The Daily Palette often features art from the Graduate Archive to celebrate exemplary work by students who have earned advanced degrees in studio art from the University of Iowa. "Where Are They Now?" gives us the exciting opportunity to catch up with some of these artists, to find out what they have been up to since leaving school and to feature their more contemporary work! Look for links to their previous appearance on The Daily Palette below.

Weights and Measures, Mixed media on reclaimed lucite and sometimes maple wood, Each square is 6" x 6", installation is 2' x 10', 2016-2017

Michelle Benoit received a BFA from Rhode Island College, MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. Selected exhibitions include AAF Milan Italy, 60 Americans at The Makeshift Museum, Los Angeles CA, The Muriel Guepin Gallery NY, NY, Gebert Contemporary; Scottsdale, AZ, New Britain Museum of Art CT, The Sarah Doyle Gallery, Brown University, The Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY and the Stephen McLaughlan Gallery; Melbourne, Australia. Her work is in the collections of the The Swain School of Design now merged with University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Memorial Sloan Kettering's permanent collection, and numerous private collections.
     Born in Bridgewater Massachusetts, she currently lives and works with her husband, an architect, and quite a few previously homeless dogs, cats, and occasionally other wayward critters. Together they are restoring a historic 18th century farmhouse in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

In her own words:
This body of work is a tangible remembering. A collection of recollection through washes of paint on bulletproof plastic and wood. Color through anamnesis has been excavated and extracted physically and metaphysically. The painted Lucite objects are a removal, isolated moments are layered over, under or adjoined to amorphous events. Experience, reorganized and funneled through a reductive approach. Sequence reconfigured, sometimes time all at once.
     Content is ingrained in the process itself and alchemical reaction. The components and systems have been fluid over the years but the intent has remained constant, to embed meaning with time, isolated, to visually see what it looks like.
     Influences for me are mostly drawn from the natural world where there is evidence of the passage of time. Often there is a peculiar synthetic beauty imposed on this juncture. Years of accumulation, collection and categorization are impressed in my work. The Memory Boards of the Luba people, Gordon Matta-Clarke,  William  Anastassi,  James  Turrell,  Rachel  Whiteread,  Robert  Ryman  and Mark Rothko are just a very small selection of artists that I admire.
     Materials frequently have their own history as they are frequently reclaimed and recycled. Compositions are composed in relation with the size of the fragments. Collected, cut, painted, stacked, mortared and coalesced. Memory transported through color is embedded in  transparency, revealing process, light, interference, color and seam as image. Infrastructure is exposed. Memory is encased in complexion, saturation, and matter. The color combinations are coded and symbolic of the past, the present, place, and all that that might encompass. I think of the results as a contemporary geologic core sample, a very personal, yet collective landscape.

Michelle Benoit online

This page was first displayed
on March 09, 2017

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