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Heather Bennett

American artist Heather Bennett maintains a multimedia practice that consists of photography, video, drawing, text, sculpture, installation, as well as, collaborations with musicians and writers. Her work traces the female subject and its historic irrelevance, focusing specifically, on representation in contemporary culture. Bennett attempts to reveal an embodied subjecthood held within her protagonists. Pushing expectations of media, she disrupts and reveals assumptions, hoping to realign and reframe the relegated, feminine tinged space, to even recreate this space anew.

Bennett has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. In the United States, in addition to mounting six solo exhibitions in New York City between 2003-2015, her work has been featured in varied exhibitions such as Exposed- Revealing Sources in Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum (Wilmington, DE), curated by Heather Campbell Coyle; Double X: Women Representing Women at the University of Alabama (Birmingham, AL); Photo Femmes at the Caren Golden Gallery (New York); and The Lives We Live at Super Duchess (New York). Abroad, Bennett’s solo exhibition The Uncovered Works of Hannah Berman was hosted by the Eva Hober Gallery (Paris, France). Bennett is represented at Gallieri S.E. in Norway, where her work has been exhibited alongside that of Marina Abromovic and Yoko Ono. Bennett has exhibited at Graffit Gallery (Varna, Bulgaria) and participated in FIAC Contemporary Art Fair (Paris, France), LOOP Contemporary Art Fair (Barcelona, Spain), and ROMA Contemporary Arts Fair (Rome, Italy), among others.

Bennett is the recipient of The Somerville Art Prize, New York (2002); William Graff Travel Abroad Scholarship, Hunter College, MFA (2000); and a Regional Arts Commission Artist Support Grant (2017) in support of her recent exhibition, Midnight Special, at Monaco Gallery in St. Louis (2020). Her work has been the subject of reviews in varied publications, such as Artnet, Art Review Magazine, Art Press, Art Papers, The New York Times, and Time Out New York. Her 2014 solo exhibition, Four Stories, at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York was reviewed by R.C. Baker for The Village Voice, and her 2017 solo exhibition, Photos of Gifts, at Bruno David Gallery was reviewed by Eileen G’Sell in Hyperallergic. Her work is owned as part of varied private collections and institutional holdings.

A monograph of Bennett’s work was published in conjunction with Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York in 2010, titled Sidetrack: (Snapshots, Outtakes and Polaroids 2001-2008), covering eight years of work with essays by feminist art historian and critic Jenni Sorkin and William Stover, former Boston MFA curator and current custodian of the Holtzer Family Foundation. Catalogs published by Bruno David Gallery include Four Stories (2015), with an essay by fiction writer Jen Logan Meyer, and Photos of Gifts (2018), with an essay by poet and cultural critic Eileen G’Sell. Bennett self-published a work in the form of text entitled Crush in 2015, as well as a 2016 book documenting a project from 2001 called The Hey Baby Book (From April to August in Chronological Order), which is currently carried by Printed Matter, Inc. in New York City.

Bennett earned a BA and BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. She spent 14 years living and working in New York before beginning her current position as a senior lecturer at Washington University, where she first joined the faculty as the Louis D. Beaumont Visiting Artist Fellow in 2013.

Personal website

Work by Heather Bennett

A photograph of two people, both in green dresses: the person to the left is seated on a chair, holding hands with the person to the right, who stands in a defiant pose, their left hand on their waist. Their outerwear is tied in a knot and draped on their shoulders. Both people look directly at the camera. In the background, a grassy green field and more bushes and trees beyond.

Pine Valley, 2018

42” x 63”. archival digital print on platine rag. edition of 3.
Works (white images against a black background) displayed in a gallery, whose walls are black. On the left hand wall are two tall rectangular frames/pieces (one of which is MS (Head)), placed far apart. In between them against the wall is a black bench, placed on a grid of tiled metallic/reflective panels. To the right is a larger piece (Night Watch) in landscape orientation. The floor is (likely) concrete, a light gray.

Midnight Special, 2020

Installation view at Monaco Gallery.
Against a black wall, on a black background in a tall, rectangular black frame, faint white lines that may resemble some kind of clothing or detail. Against the wall is a black bench on a light-hued floor with some reflective, possibly metal panels. On one of the panels is a black book.

Installation view, showing MS (Head) and Desire is About Vanishing, 2020

MS (Head), 2018, 25” x 12.5”, drawing. Desire is About Vanishing, 2020, leather chaise, mirrors, book.
Delicate white lines trace out the shape of some kind of material/organic matter/clothing on a black background.

Night Watch, 2019

50 x 84". ink and graphite on black rag.
A collage of a winding, green texture; a hand wrapped around whose arm is dark hair; and long, white (possibly peacock) feathers. Dividing the composition lengthways is a black leather strap.

White Wedding, 2020

10” x 8”. collage with leather strap.
A video projection — the white light partially covered by a folded, textured dark material (likely leather), whose edges are ragged — positioned against a white background/wall.

Drawn, 2020

42 x 24". leather, video projection.