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Ben Rosecrans

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Vancouver, WA

Birth year

Lives in
Sandy Hook, CT

Works in
Farmington, CT


University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010, M.F.A. - Painting
Northern Illinois University, 2006, B.F.A. - Painting
Full Sail University, 1997, Associate of Science - 2D/3D Design/Animation

installation, mixed-media, abstract


I create work that spans a wide range of scales and materials.  It can take the form of both small and large-scale drawings, as well as utilizing the genre of installation-based work.  The small-scale drawings are a more intimate process that allow me to maintain a traditional studio practice while the larger scale drawings and installations help balance my studio time with a conceptual and theoretical practice which centers around writing, sketches, and scale models of spaces.  The work that results from these studio practices tend to revolve around my ideas about mapping.  The images created contain both a real, observable space often made of a tangled ganglia of lines mixed with geometric and organic shapes and a more metaphorical space that is neither rational nor objective.

One of the central themes of my most recent work revolves around El Lissitzky’s series of Proun pieces.  Lissitzky saw this work as a place where painting would “change trains” to the spatial effects of architecture.  I, like him, approach a composition essentially as a problem in the definition of space.  In addition to the influence of Lissitzky I rely heavily on the visual dynamic of what I consider crisp and crude.  For me, this concept is concerned with visual opposition: aggressive line vs. delicate, real dimension vs. illusion, hand drawn elements vs. machine cut, biomorphic shapes vs. geometric etc.  Through these ideas of construction I use various materials to create a new idea of space that blurs the line between where and how things are located within a composition.

My work is a mixture of intuition and planning intermixed with a strong desire to turn everything into an elaborate process.  I begin my drawings with a basic sketch, paragraph of ideas and/or color scheme that will guide me through my process as it gives way to an intuitive creation of imagery.  By layering varied imagery through drawing, painting, cutting and constructing, a sense of fragmented time emerges which reveals a documentation of events.  This system of addition and reduction allows me to magnify the unexpected and build upon my mistakes or accidents.  I embrace the mistake or accident and allow them to help shape my compositions.

My installation work is based on the site as a generative source. The work is dependent on the space it occupies, utilizing existing lines, beams and angles and various other elements I feel include a certain level of absurdity.  Pipes sticking out of the wall, strange wall angles, neglected areas and various other elements that don’t fit in aesthetically or functionally are used as a starting point for my work.   I am intrigued by these absurd areas of architecture and feel the need to draw attention to them by recontextualizing the space they exist in through the use of abstract designs.  Even though I focus on the same problems as architecture does—the forming of space—I also think my work is a completely different discipline.  It seems to me that what I am doing is in direct opposition to what architecture stands for.  It organizes and introduces order; my work introduces sarcasm and disruption. 







Recent Exhibits

Ben Rosecrans participated in these exhibits:

Exhibited with these artists
Exhibited at these venues
Ben Rosecrans has Exhibited at these venues:

NIU Art Museum

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