Apr 12, 2005 - Jul 14, 2005

65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367

Phone Number: (718) 997-3770
Contact: Maria Terrone

FLUSHING, NY, March 28, 2005 -- Face & Figure, an exhibition that marks Suzanne Benton's 50 years in art, will be on view at the Queens College Art Center beginning Tuesday, April 12. That day, the artist will give a free gallery talk and perform a mask tale (5 to 6 pm).

Since 1971, Benton has performed with her metal masks from her repertoire of 56 tales at hundreds of prestigious venues, including Lincoln Center, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Bombay Center for the Performing Arts. She has also led mask workshops worldwide. A reception will follow to 8 pm.

Face & Figure presents 55 works from 1955 to 2005 in which the artist explores the human form and varied aspects of the human experience in multiple media, reflecting the diversity of her art. Benton's works have been exhibited at hundreds of museums, universities, and galleries throughout the United States and abroad.

"Suzanne Benton's artistic oeuvre is rich with original recastings of myths, biblical, literary and art historical sources, as well as oral tales and multicultural images she has gathered on working journeys through Africa, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East,” says Gloria Orenstein of the University of South California in her catalogue essay. “Her works exemplify both the strength of her creative force and the powers unleashed in women artists.”

The exhibition begins with a woodcut and an acrylic color study from Benton’s college years, followed by oil paintings and drawings of children and nudes. In 1969 feminist activism electrified Benton’s work and led to the metal sculpture, masks, and mask performances that began her mature period. During Women’s International Year (1976), Benton embarked on a yearlong world journey, the first of many trips. In 1982 she began to employ Chine colle, color-filled prints with collage elements often inspired and informed by her multicultural experiences and humanitarian interests. Secret Future Works (a series started in 1988), Portrait Boxes (a series begun in 1996), and the many works done since her return to painting in 1997 testify to an abiding interest in both what is hidden and what can be revealed. “A fascination with the intersections of the personal and the archetypal has carried me through life's journeys,” says Benton. “In making art and teaching throughout the world, I have sought to learn and reconfigure unquestioned myths, expanding my art and understanding in the process. Whatever awareness I have attained now abides in my work.”

Benton's multidisciplinary work has brought her to 29 countries, often sponsored in part by the United States Information Service, and she has been awarded dozens of artist residencies, including Fulbright lecturer (India 1992) and Resident Artist at Harvard University (1997). She has taught at Oberlin College, India's Khala Bhavan Art School in Santiniketan, and the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has also lectured at over 80 institutions, including the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, Brooklyn College, the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Nairobi University, the Institute of Fine Arts in Tunis, and the JJ School of Art in Bombay. Benton is the author of the fundamental The Art of Welded Sculpture (Van Nostrand Reinhold 1975) and of numerous articles. Her work has been covered in over a hundred articles and reviews and 32 books. A graduate of Queens College (Suzanne Elkins, BA 1956), Benton studied with such outstanding faculty as painter John Ferren, watercolorist Barse Miller, printmaker Louis Hechenbleikner, sculptor Peter Lipman-Wulf, and art historian Robert Goldwater, who introduced her to the power of ancient and indigenous art. An illustrated catalogue (22 pages), with an essay by Gloria Orenstein, accompanies the exhibition. Photographs, biographical and sales information are available upon request.

Event Type: Exhibition