Skip to content

Sadie Benning

The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation

March 23May 4, 2024

Gallery I

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled Sadie Benning: The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation

Press Release

Installation photo credit: Jeff McLane

Opening reception: Saturday, March 23, 4-6PM

Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation, an exhibition of sixteen new paintings by Sadie Benning.

The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation ruminates on a triad of interrelating conceits: the desire for connection, the need for safety and the want for an expansive change in how we experience and communicate love. Referencing evolutionary biology, the word saltation signifies sudden and large scale mutations from one generation to the next—though the term is invoked here more poetically with regard to transformation, imparting questions around what is required to sustain lasting and profound advancements in the way we care for and honor one another while on earth—and also after death.

Through an experimental process which Benning has developed over the past two decades, these wall-mounted works transgress the singular categories of painting, drawing and sculpture. The manipulation of materials occurs through stages of translation: going from a digital image to a projected transparency to an outline drawn by hand on wood, to the final, three-dimensional result, which is cut out with a jigsaw, coated with aqua resin, sanded, painted, buffed and fit back together. Benning imbues each work with their touch and thought processes—an embodied, ever sentient, quality emanating from each finished painting.

The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation is comprised of brightly colored abstract works which center on points of contact, and white figurative works, some of which are imbedded with jewelry and other talismans—as if to suggest how we assign poetry to objects in order to communicate desires for protection and remembrance. The figurative works also endeavor to imagine how people uncannily infuse matter with their personal energies, and how these energies persist, ghostlike.

At turns playful and deeply serious, Benning explores the transformative function of grief—who we are compelled to remember when they are gone—that is, when they are no longer seeable or touchable and must be accessed internally—and how intimacy with loss expands our capacity for love. The power of these works cumulatively is such that transformation itself becomes an amulet—a form of protection grounded in metamorphosis through true reverence and tenderness.

About the artist

Over the last three decades, Sadie Benning’s (b. 1973 Madison, WI) work has taken the form of experimental video, performance, and most recently mixed-media wall-mounted works that trouble the distinctions between painting, drawing, sculpture, and photo collage. Benning’s pluralistic relationship to medium speaks to an ongoing desire to forge complex relations between form and content. Benning’s work is in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Solo exhibitions include “Pain

Thing” Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; “Shared Eye” Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and “Play Pause” at the Dia Foundation for the Arts, New York, the Power Plant, Toronto, Ontario, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Their work Shared Eye was installed in Surrounds: 11 Installations at the Museum of Modern Art New York when it re-opened in 2019. Benning’s work has also been included in Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York; Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; and the 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. They are one of the founding members of the iconic band Le Tigre.

Sadie Benning
“Ambidextrous,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
33" x 27" [HxW] (83.82 x 68.58 cm)
Inventory #BEN941
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Ambidextrous." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 33" x 27" [HxW] (83.82 x 68.58 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Covenant,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN942
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Covenant." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“After image,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN943
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "After image." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Cane,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
19" x 14" [HxW] (48.26 x 35.56 cm)
Inventory #BEN947
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Cane." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 19" x 14" [HxW] (48.26 x 35.56 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Love,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN944
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Love." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“The long speed coming,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN945
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "The long speed coming." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Earring,” 2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
29" x 22" [HxW] (73.66 x 55.88 cm)
Inventory #BEN971
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Earring." This artwork was created in 2024 and measures 29" x 22" [HxW] (73.66 x 55.88 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Wonder,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN948
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Wonder." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Shared,” 2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
26" x 21" [HxW] (66.04 x 53.34 cm)
Inventory #BEN969
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Shared." This artwork was created in 2024 and measures 26" x 21" [HxW] (66.04 x 53.34 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Wag,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN949
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Wag." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Medallion,” 2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
30 ¹⁄₂" x 24" [HxW] (77.47 x 60.96 cm)
Inventory #BEN970
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Medallion." This artwork was created in 2024 and measures 30 ¹⁄₂" x 24" [HxW] (77.47 x 60.96 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Without you I am nothing,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm)
Inventory #BEN946
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Without you I am nothing." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 44" x 59" [HxW] (111.76 x 149.86 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Overtures,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm)
Inventory #BEN950
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Overtures." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Cellular freeway,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm)
Inventory #BEN951
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Cellular freeway." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Action,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm)
Inventory #BEN953
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Action." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.
Sadie Benning
“Triple touch,” 2023-2024
Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache
26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm)
Inventory #BEN952
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Greg Carideo
This image depicts an artwork by Sadie Benning titled "Triple touch." This artwork was created in 2023-2024 and measures 26" x 35" [HxW] (66.04 x 88.9 cm). Its medium is Wood, aqua resin, casein, and acrylic gouache.