The exhibition offers us a space that contains the wild and raw alongside aesthetic restraint and order while hinting at, or explicitly referencing, the female body.
Sara Benninga and Rachel Rotenberg offer us a space that contains the wild and raw alongside aesthetic restraint and order, while hinting at, or explicitly referencing, the female body. At times, it seems they are contemplating the assumption that everything round must necessarily be soft and malleable. Their manner of observation and expression allows a powerful, primeval, and sometimes aggressive, force to emerge from the curves, and realize itself in the exhibition space.
In her paintings, Sara Benninga seeks to call into question art’s historical construct of presenting the female body in nature through the male gaze. She reenacts the situation and places the nude women in close proximity to one another in a garden that is an exclusively female space. Thus, she examines whether this space also generates emotional intimacy. It appears that in this garden, the women are liberated from the accepted model of beauty, the need to please the viewer, and they feel safe to rest, move, unwind and let loose.
Rachel Rotenberg’s sculptures, made of wood, metal and concrete, elicit mass and monumentality together with the organic delicacy of pods and branches, body parts and fertility. This combination engenders an ecosystem that is complete, complex, inviting, and natural, while simultaneously being light and heavy, full and empty, soft and hard, closed and open, concrete and abstract.
The proximity between the sculptures and the paintings intensifies and provides a strong footing for the corporeal intuition and the outdoor experience, until it seems that the figures are moving and resting freely in some kind of sculpture garden. Yet this is not a sweet, pastoral garden, rather one that contains wildness and violence. This joint exhibition is not just pretty and silent, it provides a platform for a lifecycle in which the body fills and empties, celebrates and bleeds, receives and influences and then repeats itself all over again.
Curator: Avital Wexler