Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless
Red Bull Arts New York is proud to present Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless, the first posthumous retrospective of the life and work of the influential, multi-disciplinary artist. Opening to the public on March 6, 2019, and remaining on view until July 28, the ambitious exhibition returns the spotlight to one of contemporary art’s most prescient figures, detailing her historic importance and contemporary relevance.
Gretchen Bender (1951-2004) was a pioneering artist who worked across video, sculpture, computer graphics, photography, print and installation to interrogate the accelerated age of mass media. Moving to New York in 1978, Bender quickly fell in with the Post-Pictures Generation scene, centered around the artist-run gallery Nature Morte, as well as a milieu of artist and performers connected to The Kitchen. She befriended and collaborated with such figures as artists Robert Longo and Cindy Sherman, the choreographers Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, and musicians Stuart Argabright and Vernon Reid. Building upon techniques developed in her years running a feminist-Marxist screen-printing collective in Washington, D.C., Bender’s early two-dimensional work, made in New York, abstracted and juxtaposed images appropriated from across the visual spectrum: from other artists, the news cycle, and corporate and military advertising. The effect was a disturbing barrage that spoke to the accelerating power of the image in the coming digital age.
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