VBS (violet burning sunset) consists of two shows in one room. the first show features work by ethan knechel, helen mirra, tom sachs, lauren seiden and alison veit and consists entirely of artworks that eschew color and embrace solid materiality in mostly muted and gray tones. the second features work by amanda church, martha grover, odili donald odita, devin o’brien power and cyle metzger. these artists employ color and illusionistic space to an intense effect, and often allow vivid palettes to invite metaphysical interpretations. it’s basically a celebration of very-well-made objects, and hopefully it will feel to the viewer like a prism projecting multicolored refractions from one side of USDAN to the other. Read more about the exhibition here.
Utopia Is No Place, Utopia Is Process transformed Usdan Gallery into a space for critical feminist pedagogy. On view from April 12 to May 12, the project was inspired by Bennington’s experimental curricula and its history as a women’s college. In addition to works of art, resources such as a crowd-sourced library, printing press, meeting space, and discussion groups were made available for autonomous and collective investigation. Read more about the exhibition here.
2015 Senior Exhibition
Featuring work by Nina Berinstein, Molly Brown, Nicolas Burrier, Dania Clarke, Nicholas DiLeonardi, Elizabeth Edwards, Andrew Emard , Wesley Evans, Elizabeth Gombert, Glennis Henderson, Sophie Hesselgrave, Sierra Rivers Hollister, Robin Hopkinson, Madeline Johnson, Maren Johnson, Jay Kineke, Jeffrey Kitchen, Kione Kochi, Carolyn Lewon, Shannon Mahoney, Lieb Mathieson, Ruby McCollister, Mollie McElvain, Brianna Morel, Madeleine Morris, Evangeline Neuhart, Michelle Nguyen, Zenji Oguri, Lily Olin, Heather Rodgers, Sara Salaway, Morgana Tetherow-Keller, and Rebecca White.
A collaborative presentation assembled by artist Gregory Thielker and anthropologist Noah Coburn, (Un)governed spaces focused on the Afghan region surrounding the U.S. military base at Bagram. The region—which has been occupied by Alexander the Great, the Soviet Union, the Taliban, and most recently, the United States—offers a crossroads of past and present. Over the course of the past three years, Thielker and Coburn lived, researched, and toured the region, sharing intimate conversations with locals, interviewing U.S. soldiers, sketching the bazaar and local houses, and conducting historical and ethnographic research both in Afghanistan and the United States. Read more about the exhibition here.
This exhibition featured iconic abstract works from the College’s Collection, including works by David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler ‘49, Larry Poons, Hans Hofmann, and other influential figures. It included a sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro, on view for the first time ever, which was created using David Smith’s metal after his death.
The exhibition, organized in conjunction with the current modernist exhibition at The Clark Art Institute and the modernist gallery at the Bennington Museum, offered a new way of looking at the College — through its art and through its connection to the rich artistic legacy of the region.
The paintings were hung in an unprecedented format. Instead of viewing each piece singly, a salon style installation allowed the viewer to discover their own connections between works, and created an installation further emphasizing the architectural space and the classic New England landscapes, visible through the gallery’s large windows. The arrangement was chosen because at the Gallery and the College, the emphasis is on teaching and experimentation.
“The originality of the arrangement reflects the originality of the individual works themselves,” said faculty member Andrew Spence, who curated the show. “While the large scaled works look surprisingly small, and the smaller ones seem larger, the whole wall of artworks reads from left to right as a sentence. One of the first things I notice is how the gravity of downward drips in many of the painting contrasts with the paintings as entities that float one over another.”
The majority of the works in the exhibition were created by artists with direct ties to Bennington College: as students (Cora Cohen ‘64 and Helen Frankenthaler); faculty (Paul Feeley, Ralph Humphrey, Vincent Longo, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Sir Anthony Caro and Peter Stroud); or artists exhibiting at the College in the Deane Carriage Barn (Josef Albers, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, David Smith, and Anne Truitt).