VICTORI + MO is proud to present The Captive, a solo exhibition by Myles Bennett celebrating the conclusion of the artist’s 32nd and most recent Affair, which will open on October 21 and remain on view through November 25, 2016.
The exhibition showcases a single, large-scale 10 x 16-foot ink and watercolor painting that welcomes the viewer to discover figuration within the work – a figure that is revealed to the artist himself through a process spanning all the intensity, euphoria, tedium and turbulence of an intimate relationship. The Captive invites the viewer to explore a deeper relationship with the piece, taking the time to contemplate it on a 1:1 level.
As ink and pigment are applied to a saturated stack of un-primed and un-stretched layers of canvas, movement and texture emerge in a process that is at once geological and profoundly personal. The layers and surface are worked and re-worked – soaked, suctioned, scratched, and sprayed – to facilitate the figure’s emergence. The resulting effect is similar to entering a luminous French garden of hidden spaces where multiple, playful excursions are possible. She appears, trapped but excavated, pulled through the layers, as though in a fugue state. The Affairs series suggests an emotional entanglement, referencing the artist’s own relationship with the painting and the intrigue of developing and discovering the figure within it.
Bennett cites influences from the work of a 19th century composer Hanon, who developed a set of exercises called the “The Virtuoso Pianist,” a daily practice deeply rooted in repetition and discipline that, once mastered, would allow each finger to be as independent and dexterous as the other, freeing the mind from the physical constraints of the body. Through these daily exercises, Hanon believed, one could access the true essence of a composition without being distracted by its difficulty — the mind wouldn’t be forced to belabor what the hands would inherently understand.
Bennett finds correlation in his own gestural processes: “In the daily practice of becoming, I’m able to isolate moments of potential, develop them through repetition, and re-weave them into the larger scope of the project, exploring the surface with freedom of hand so the mind can wander to potential interpolations and future mutations.”
About the Artist
Myles Bennett (b. Nashville, TN) is a Brooklyn-based artist working at the intersection of painting, drawing, apparel, and sculpture. His focus on the personal scale of construction and materiality has evolved into an exploration of gesture and the inherent properties of surface. Whether resulting in figuration or abstraction, the process reveals the sensual and spatial relationship between the material’s structure and the body itself. A graduate in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design, he currently lives and works in the Bushwick loft he designed and built from a raw industrial space and exhibits in galleries throughout the United States. His work is part of multiple permanent collections including the Tennessee State Museum.