Folio II

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Jan 7, 2021 10:22PM

Zane Bennett Contemporary's annual group exhibition, which features Zane Bennett Gallery staff favorites from the 2020 collection, including Mary Heilmann's Joaquin's Close Out, Nick Cave's Head Dressed, and Helen Frankenthaler's Weeping Crabapple, among others.

Helen Frankenthaler, Weeping Crabapple, 2009

Brad Hart / Exhibitions Coordinator

Weeping Crabapple by Helen Frankenthaler is a both visually and technically stunning print. When we first unpacked it, Kylee (our print curator) and I thought it was a combination lithograph and woodblock print. When it was discovered to be all woodblock, I was amazed by the numerous transparent wash layers that had been achieved with a relief technique. As Helen Frankenthaler’s final print, it represents a late-career artist at the peak of her mastery.

Nick Cave, Head Dressed, 2019

Jordan Eddy / Director

In Head Dressed, a great floral nebula crowns—but also obscures—a nude figure. The flower “headdress” is a nod to Cave’s best-known series, wearable sculptures called Soundsuits that transform performers into cyclones of fiber, faux fur and found materials. The dark-skinned figure beneath represents Cave’s true subjects: the Black and queer bodies who don his armor. Cave’s work is about ceremony and catharsis, but also coverage, camouflage and code switching. It’s a lofty conceptual web grounded by humanness and electrified by emotion.

Frank Stella, Ahab's Leg, 1989

Marissa Fassano / Marketing Director

There are so many possible entry points to falling in love with a work of art. It can underscore our identities, reaffirm our dreams and goals, or create an atmosphere of a life well-lived. For me, Frank Stella’s Ahab’s Leg immediately conjures one of my most treasured memories. It’s late and I’m fighting sleep, but I’m in deep into Moby Dick and determined to continue the adventure through dawn. By the time my late father is on his second pot of coffee, I’ve closed the book and am ready to join him at the kitchen table so we can talk about Ahab and his mad journey before it’s time for him to go to work. The moment I saw Stella’s work was the moment I was back in bed by the lamplight, just starting to smell a freshly brewed pot of Maxwell’s. And I immediately fell in love.

Mary Heilmann, Joaquin's Closet, 2006

Kylee Aragon Wallis / Print Curator

Mary Heilmann's Joaquin's Close Out beautifully exemplifies the boundlessness of the print medium. Achieving such fluidity within the labor-intensive intaglio process is no minor feat. The vibrant etching effortlessly evokes the spontaneity of Heilmann's paintbrush. The lustrous colors feel as if they are slowly melting into each other, creating a true feast for the eyes.

Gail Gash Taylor, Dawn Suite 6, 1983

Isabella Beroutsos/ Sales

In Gail Gash Taylor’s Dawn Suite, the subject is at once recognizable and unfamiliar, illustrating the artist’s belief that “art is a gift to the viewer of another set of eyes.” Inspired by a print collection depicting Mount Fuji, Taylor created Dawn Suite to represent slight variations of the sky. The series employs cheesecloth to gracefully capture the diaphanous subtleties of light and texture among the clouds. Just as the views of Mount Fuji gave the artist “another set of eyes” of the sky, Taylor is building artistic connections across time and space for her viewers. Her “clouds” suggest the transience of any view of the sky, anywhere, at any moment.

Sam Gilliam, Two, 1994

Rebecca Bernstein / Sales

Mimicking Sam Gilliam’s famous Drape paintings, Two’s vibrant collaged patterns and colors give the viewer a sense of dimensionality. As a Gilliam fan, I believe this is a perfect celebration of the Washington Color School artist’s boundary-shattering creative practice. Thanks to the handmade stitched paper, embossing, and unique collage elements, the work beautifully explores colors and textures. Each overlapping element stands out and truly emanates cheer!

Guy Dill, Boon, 2008

Sandy Zane / Owner

The power of Boon is encapsulated in the swoops and whirls of the circular bronze arcs as they intertwine. The refined and simplified shapes have an ease and grace about them which is beautifully balanced by the sheer size and scale of Boon. “Sexy, sleek, strong, very masculine, a bit like the artist himself,” to quote Erin Clark, a reviewer for The refinement and poise of this bronze work is effortlessly balanced with the industrial and modern feel of the sculpture. The effect is quite wonderful and engages even the most casual viewer.

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art