de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Fletcher Benton: The Artist's Studio

August 16 - December 6, 2013

Benton, Studio Interior

Fletcher Benton: The Artist's Studio explores the unique attitudes and methods that Benton, a world-renowned kinetic and constructivist sculptor, applies to his work. This experiential and interactive exhibition looks at the inspirations, processes, toys, and tools that Benton uses to create his art. Conceived by Benton himself, it provides a rare opportunity to see the studio—a typically private space—through the artist's eyes.

The exhibition recreates Benton's studio with the sounds, images, textures, inspirations, and even smells that constitute his working environment. It juxtaposes sculptures and maquettes, large-scale photographs of the working environment, a sound track created in-studio, and a reproduction of his work table, which includes video of welding sparks underneath.

The artist's workplace has been a popular subject since the Renaissance, depicted by artists ranging from Vermeer to Courbet to Matisse. Fletcher Benton: The Artist's Studio, a densely layered and abstracted representation of Benton's workspace, brings that tradition into the modern age.

Benton's workspace is an extension and reflection of his aesthetic philosophy. By inviting the viewer into that space, the exhibition provides profound insight into the artistic practice of one of the most important American sculptors of the twentieth century.

This traveling exhibition was organized by the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. The exhibition is supported in part by a gift from an anonymous donor and museum members.

Image: Fletcher Benton, Studio Interior, 2009, 10 x 32 ft.
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