Benicia Gantner: Isole

January 26 – March 15, 2014

Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works in vinyl collage by Bay Area artist Benicia Gantner. This will be her fourth solo show with Traywick Contemporary.

In her new body of work, Gantner continues to imagine landscapes freed from gravity, creating intricate floating worlds with layers of hand- and computer-cut vinyl applied to paper, acrylic panel and wall surfaces. Typically a material with commercial applications, vinyl furthers her interest in our experience of a natural world that is infused with artifice.

The title of the show, Isole, or islands in Italian, simultaneously evokes the independence and isolation of these suspended spaces. Gantner is interested in the tension between these two states of being: her floating islands are seemingly self-sustaining, yet contain elements that extend and emanate from her compositions as if seeking to connect with something external.

New, geometric forms appear throughout Gantner’s latest body of work. Expanding circles, hexagonal patterns, and other rectilinear shapes exist among more naturalistic elements. The juxtaposition of the organic and the mechanical in Gantner’s “protoplaces” references the coexistence of digital and organic processes in a world increasingly dominated by technology. The hybrid spaces the artist creates are metaphoric reflections of the fraught relationships between containment and community, chaos and control that characterize contemporary life.

Gantner’s work has been shown extensively on the West Coast, including exhibitions and installations at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, the Oakland Museum’s City Center exhibition program, Southern Exposure and the Richmond Art Center. Her work is in the collection of notable public collections such as the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; the Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, CA; and the Crocker Museum, Sacramento, CA.

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