Bruno David is pleased to present an installation Blueprint Kit for Lilly by Heather Bennett in the gallery’s vitrine space, WINDOW ON FORSYTH (Downtown Clayton, viewable 24/7) Photographic images have traditionally depicted space, revealing people and objects, they are the stuff of illusion. They are also things. At the intersection of these identities is a kind of gooey vacillation as we look at and through a photographic image in contemporary culture. This work seems to depict exactly what the series title, Photos of Gifts, describes, however, objects are often wrapped with magazine images complicating illusionistic space, as well as, obscuring object identities. Women acting as objects for magazine advertisements are subtly transformed here to the focused subjects of the images only to then be flattened, inextricable from the object portrait, as they are wrapped around that object and tied with a bow. The subject/ object reversal of the female form gets a sea-sickening treatment. The small act of wrapping a gift becomes a potent metaphor, exploding within its supposedly quiet, often assumed to be feminine place.
In this window installation, a candied vacuousness is implied, even embraced. Glossy lips and curled pink ribbons float over a dusky pink carpet mimicking a cloying set for Teen Vogue. We don’t expect to find the critical here playing precocious as it winks and sways and just barely, gazes back.
Heather Bennett earned a BA in political science and a BFA in printmaking at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and received an MFA in painting at Hunter College, New York. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York, NY; Eva Hober Gallery, Paris, France; Gallerie S.E., Bergen, Norway; Graffit Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria; FIAC Contemporary Art Fair, Paris, France; University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL; Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO; LOOP Contemporary Art Fair, Barcelona, Spain; Contemporary Arts Center, Syracuse, NY and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE, among others.
Bennett's work has been the subject of numerous reviews in varied publications, such as Artnet, Art Review Magazine, Art Press, ArtPapers, The New York Times, and Time Out New York. Her 2014 solo exhibition in New York City was reviewed by R.C. Baker of The Village Voice, NYC and her 2017 solo exhibition the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis was reviewed by Eileen G'Sell in Hyperallergic. Currently, Bennett is a full-time lecturer at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.