With greater experience of becoming absorbed by a material world, we are more estranged from nature than ever. We have fleeting memories of landscapes, rivers, and clouds. With atmospheric gravity, Betbeze engages this alienation, takes it to task, giving us a new way to enter.
Venus, is a collection of works that engages directly with natural processes to evoke the garden, a place that has been central to Betbeze’s work over the years. The works are built with performative gestures and unusual materials. You can imagine the artist wrestling with these furry carpets: burning, cutting, sewing, gouging, dyeing, endlessly repurposing. The distortion of the fur, the blemishes and holes, conjure our most visceral senses. Betbeze’s works unfurl beyond human proportion to provide the enveloping experience of a garden. Saturated colors feel synthetic and raw; color is time and renewal, something wet spilling out of deep space. Betbeze’s version of nature is deeply tactile. Each work is a mirror that reflects and echoes, confronting unfiltered desire.
Anna Betbeze (b. 1980, Mobile, AL) has had solo exhibitions at Nina Johnson Miami, Markus Lüttgen Cologne, Luxembourg & Dayan in London, Kate Werble Gallery New York, and Francois Gebaly, Los Angeles. Her work has been shown at institutions such as MOMA PS1, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and among other galleries and institutions around the world. Her works are in the permanent collections of The Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the High Museum in Atlanta. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters, New York Magazine, Frieze, and The Los Angeles Times. She is a recent recipient of the Rome Prize. Betbeze grew up in Columbus, Georgia and currently lives in New York City. She contiually returns to Georgia to work. The works in this exhibit were made in both cities. Betbeze attended the University of Georgia, where she earned a BFA before receiving an MFA from Yale in 2006.