The Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present Airports and Extrusions, and exhibition which features a series of ceramic sculptures by Frank Benson and photographs by the artist team Fischli and Weiss.
Frank Benson, known for his remarkably detailed life-like sculptures, has, for this body of work, employed a simple tool – an extruder – to create tubular geometric forms and meandering ribbons in clay. Although the process is simple, the resulting works inhabit a surprisingly wide variety forms while retaining the mechanical imprint of the tool used in their creation. The final fired, but unglazed ceramic sculptures, appear to be rendered from mild steel, moist clay or flexible leather. In these works, Benson achieves a rare formal elegance, accentuating the spontaneous and the arbitrary by allowing the vagaries of the process to inform his decisions about the individual composition of each work.
Airports, a photographic series by Fischli and Weiss examines the quotidian aspects of global travel by focusing the uniformity of the terminals and tarmacs in such disparate locales as Zurich and Rio de Janeiro, symptoms of the postmodern experience. The mundane subjects in these images are familiar to us all, fuel vehicles, baggage trucks, and the daily routine of the airport worker yet these photos highlight the extreme complexities of such tableaus and everyday life. Deceptively complex these photos share the same conceptual focus as their other sculptural and photographic works – the exceptional in the quotidian experience.
Airports present seemingly conventional views of the heavy, inert metallic bodies of airplanes, of the machinery on the ground. But mostly we see the space around them, the vastness and emptiness of the runway, which becomes the essence of the forms themselves. And similarly, Frank Benson’s Extrusions speak to something beyond the forms themselves – the action of their making and the space in which they occupy the fine line between repose and animation.
Frank Benson has had solo shows at Sadie Coles in London, Taxter and Spengemann in New York and Overduin and Kite in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in the Sao Paulo Bienial, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. The series of work exhibited in Airports and Extrusions was started during a residency at Art Pace in San Antonio and continued during a subsequent residency at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.
Peter Fischli and David Weiss have shown extensively internationally and are widely recognized as two of the most influential artists of the 20th century.