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.
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.
Penelope Umbrico’s Campus Surplus explored the connections between the Modern school and office: the rationalized spaces, tools, and systems that promise efficiency and productivity. The exhibition included photographs of used copiers, desks, cubicles, and plants collected from liquidation websites, as well as images she has taken in the surplus rooms of college campuses around the country, video projections of a custom-made tile game, materials related to learning products, and a site specific installation drawn from Bennington’s own Buildings and Grounds. Read more about the exhibition here.
Artist Dan Shapiro taught printmaking at Bennington College beginning in 1947. This show was held in coordination with two other exhibitions of Shapiro’s work in Bennington, VT: Living the Print, 1949–1969, held at the Bennington Museum, and The Late Years, Works on Paper from the 70s and 80s, held at Left Bank Gallery. 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.
This exhibition followed Price’s Meat series, inspired by a violent incident in Nicaragua in 1985 when Price was shot with a high-powered rifle in his left abdomen. This traumatic experience symbolically killed the trauma of Price’s childhood. The ghosts of his traumatic childhood, the death of his mother and sister in the late 90s, and the remnants of his gunshot wound are recurring examinations in Luther’s body and his body of work. This exhibition featured a brand-new series of handmade 35mm slides, the second ever exhibition of Price’s little-seen sculpture work from the mid-to-late 1980s, and a series of 40 photographs from the late 80s by photographer Russell Scholl. A mini-retrospective of Luther Price’s moving-image works accompanied the Usdan Exhibition. Read more about the exhibition here.
An exhibition featuring art work from Chris Sullivan’s feature films, the critically lauded “Consuming Spirits” and his work in progress “The Orbit of Minor Satellites,” Animated Worlds of Chris Sullivan featured photographs, physical art work, videos of the work being created, dialogue recording sessions, and work-in-progress footage. The New York Times wrote of “Consuming Spirits” in 2012: “it is a work of obsessive artisanal discipline and unfettered artistic vision. You have never seen anything like it.” The Slant review called Consuming Spirits “not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.” Read more about the exhibition here.
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.
Slipped Gears, was a multimedia exhibition featuring the work of nine artists. It opened in Bennington’s Usdan Gallery on Tuesday, September 16. The show offered challenging responses to a moment of tectonic cultural transition, when technology increasingly resides in and around us. The artists, many of whom have shown internationally, included Nick Hornby, Joon Oluchi Lee, Kristin Lucas, Rosa Menkman, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Katie Torn, Matias Viegener, and the collaborative duo of Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy called MSHR (biographies below). It was curated by Roddy Schrock, director of residencies and programs at Eyebeam, a leading art and technology center in Brooklyn, New York. Read more about the exhibition here.