Alexandra Bell: Counternarratives, October 9 – December 15, 2017

Bennington College is delighted to present an exhibition and lecture by critically acclaimed media artist Alexandra Bell. Bell is known for her “Counternarratives” project of supersized New York Times articles edited to reveal biases and assumptions about race and gender. Usually posted one work at a time around everyday locations in New York City, her “Counternarratives” prints will appear at Bennington as a series of four installed on building exteriors around campus.

This event is the first display of Bell’s work by an academic institution and the first to present her radical re-edits as a series. This grouping showcases how the artist disrupts manifestations of bias in reporting on different topics, from police violence to athletic competition, and confounds journalistic conventions of timeliness. Bell resists the forward propulsion of the news cycle by reconsidering events once they cease to be current. Her deliberative process gives agency to a desire to slow down and look back, to locate subjectivity in the “facts” of public record and question how particular narratives become embedded in history. Overall, Bell’s “Counternarratives” project urges us to think more deeply about the circulation and consumption of news and the patterns and politics of information.

“Counternarratives” is organized by Anne Thompson, Director and Curator of the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery at Bennington College.

Alexandra Bell (b. 1983, Chicago, IL) is a multidisciplinary artist who investigates the complexities of narrative, information consumption, and perception. Utilizing various media, she deconstructs language and imagery to explore the tension between marginal experiences and dominant histories. Through investigative research, she considers the ways media frameworks construct memory and inform discursive practices around race, politics, and culture. Bell holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in Print Journalism from Columbia University. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Laura Gilpin/Intrepid Woman, November 7 – December 12, 2017

This photography exhibition has been curated by Bennington students enrolled in the class “Laura Gilpin & The Platinum Print,” offered spring 2017.

The exhibition explores the inner life of this twentieth-century photographer and her relationship to the Navajo Nation and the landscape of the desert Southwest.

A related student-curated exhibit, “The Photographs of Laura Gilpin and Her Circle: Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence H. White, Clara Sipprell,” is on view at the Bennington Museum, October 7-December 15.


Sideline Collective: Nothing in the News, November 14 – December 15, 2017

Usdan Gallery collaborates with Crossett Library to present “Nothing in the News,” a series of international newspapers stripped of content. An ongoing project of the art and design group Sideline Collective, “Nothing in the News” comments on the data overload of everyday life. During November and December, visitors to the library can find Sideline Collective editions on tables and shelves mixed with ordinary newspapers and periodicals.

The display of “Nothing in the News” coincides with an installation on Bennington buildings of Alexandra Bell’s “Counternarratives”—also a critical reimagining of the physical newspaper. Working only with the New York Times, Bell edits and reconfigures articles to reveal assumptions and biases about race and gender.

More information about Sideline Collective @

Gunnar Kaldewey Artist Books Sept 19 – October 18, 2017

The Usdan Gallery at Bennington College is pleased to be hosting this exhibition of Gunnar Kaldewey’s books and prints. Gunnar’s summer home, studio, and presses are located just 45 minutes from campus, and this proximity inspired the idea to have him share his work with the Bennington community. Personally, I have been aware of Gunnar’s work for many years and I am very happy to now see it on display in our gallery.


Vital Curiosity, July 14 – September 8, 2017

Vital Curiosity at the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery at Bennington College explores the use of color and abstraction by artists associated with the College from the 1940s to the 1990s.

The exhibition includes work by Helen Frankenthaler ’49, Grace Wapner ’55, Stephen Mueller MFA ’71, Carrie Moyer ’82, Odili Donald Odita MFA ’90, Noam Rappaport ’94, and Paul Feeley (faculty member, 1940–66). Vital Curiosity focuses on the ways each of these artists—who represent a diversity of generations, formal approaches, and experiences—seize upon color as a dynamic, and often ineffable, element in their abstraction.


Black Spring, April 11- May 9, 2017

BLACK SPRING is an exhibition organized by current students representing black lives at Bennington, past, present, and future through audio, video, performance, sculpture, photography and text. Each week new works will be added in this exhibition that layers media, experiences of history and identity.

gems, minerals and human nature, March 7-31, 2017

The exhibition gems, minerals and human nature will be on view at Usdan Gallery at Bennington College March 7-31. There will be an opening reception March 7, 2017, 6:30 pm with a talk by Michael Dyber at 7:00 pm.

Michael Dyber is a world renowned Gem Cutter. His work is featured in many top international museums and collections.

Mineralogist Robert Whitmore will exhibit a special collection of gem crystals and cut stones, many from New England including Vermont. This exhibit was featured in February at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.

A collection of mineral specimens from Belvidere Mountain in Eden/Lowell, Vermont will be on display from the Ken Carlsen collection, including some that were featured in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Rocks & Mineral Magazine. This exhibit will also include a special watercolor painting by world famous mineral painter Fred Wilda, two code generated video projections by design technologist Seiya Kobayash and a selection of student work from Michael Stradley’s Digital Morphology class here at Bennington College.

This exhibit is organized by John Umphlett, interdisciplinary technician of Bennington College.

VBS (violet burning sunset), September 20 – October 16, 2016

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, April 12 – May 12, 2016

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.

China Dialogues, November 12 – December 12, 2015

In collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, Bennington College hosted the China Dialogues (November 2-December 2), an exploratory project in providing a supportive platform for artists to showcase creativity while promoting cross-cultural conversations.  It featured open rehearsals within an installation created by professor Yangen in collaboration with Dai Jian.  Read more about the exhibition here.