Frye Art Museum / Gretchen Frances Bennett: Air, the free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth
Gretchen Frances Bennett: Air, the free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth
February 16–June 2, 2019
Public Opening Reception: Friday, February 15, 2019
Seattle-based artist Gretchen Frances Bennett explores issues related to visual perception at the intersection of personal and historical memory. Working primarily in drawing, she demonstrates a preoccupation with mundane yet cinematically-inflected moments that retain the fascination of a time diffuse between past and present. She is perhaps best known for luminous color pencil translations of personal photographs and artifacts of popular media, as in a series of drawings of Kurt Cobain based on YouTube videos and the Gus van Sant film, Last Days
(2005). Acknowledging the fragmentary and intermediary nature of her source material, Bennett includes
“surface evidence” within her drawings, like accidental tears in the original photograph, the grain of lo-fi digital video imagery, or the color imbalances of inkjet print-outs.
Recently Bennett’s practice has extended to writing. In conjunction with a collection of personal essays and poems that she has been working on for over a year, she is creating a slideshow video in collaboration with photographer Paulo Castillo and a series of time-intensive, large-scale drawings that examine constructed and deconstructed notions of the self. Based on sources ranging from photographs taken during childhood travels to stills from Céline Sciamma’s film Tomboy (2011) and screen grabs from online spiritual guides’ video channels, this new body of work tracks Bennett’s process of deprogramming, healing, and (continual) re-becoming by retracing