Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition with New York based artist, Sadie Benning, “Fuzzy Math,” in all four gallery spaces. This new body of work marks our contemporary cultural moment; the genesis of a traumatic event and its aftershocks.
“Fuzzy Math,” a phrase borrowed from set theory, has become a popular phrase in politics over the last fifteen years. Classical set theory operates on a binary function: either an element is included or not included in the set. The fuzzification of mathematics can be dated to the 1965 publication of Lotfi Asker Zadehs influential work “Fuzzy Sets”. In the ensuing decades, this new set of operations expanded algebraic functions to account for uncertainty or incomplete information. In fuzzy math, elements are ambiguous and can exist in a state of becoming a part of a set. This math has been used to develop the truthy justifications and denials for events ranging from wars in the Middle East, global warming, speculative sub-prime mortgages, and election results. Bennings new body of work is a meta-examination of the anxiety produced by the fall-out of these fuzzy ideologies, the radically new world that they have created, and the many repercussions of making decisions based on incomplete information that are only beginning to come to light.
The content of the work is best expressed by the physicality of the paintings. Each element of Bennings highly constructed work is cut from a larger piece of wood; layers of aqua-resin are applied to the forms, which are then sanded and molded, and finally fit back together to form the final composition. Layers of psychological and physical affect are built up through this process. For example, the works, “Irritation Painting” and “Irritation S” contain an anxious pictorial energy; their surfaces are relatively rough and their palette of contradictory hues lends a vibratory, almost aggravated relationship between the elements of the compositions.
Other large works, like “Red Mono Maze,” imply a visual morass. This vertical painting has two distinct halves: the top is composed of a grid of apparently soft, cushioned rectangles that connect to an intricate maze of gut-like parts that loop around each other at the bottom. The link that Benning creates between the grid and the body highlights the sometimes-contrary processes of rational thought and intuitive embodiment as one attempts to process the cultural and political developments of the noughties.
Sadie Benning (b. 1973) currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Benning received an M.F.A. from Bard College and is currently co-chair of their film and video department. Recently, Bennings work in painting and video was included in the 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and in Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland and Artists Space, New York, NY. Bennings work has also been included in: Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); the Whitney Biennial (2000 and 1993); American Century, Whitney Museum of Modern Art (2000); and the Venice Biennale (1993). Solo exhibitions include Callicoon Fine Arts, Participant, INC., Wexner Center for the Arts, Orchard Gallery, Dia: Chelsea and The Power Plant. Benning is also a former member and co-founder of the music group Le Tigre.