By ALLISON MATYUS
The latest exhibition at the Renaissance Society, 5811 S. University Ave., explores imagery and ambiguity through mixed-media pieces.
At first glance, the work of “Shared Eye” may seem like a collage of unintentional objects, but New York-based artist, Sadie Benning, had a specific idea for the composition of each and every piece in the exhibit.
“Benning’s process was very intentional,” said Anna Searle Jones, the director of communications at the Renaissance Society.
The pieces comprise of iPhone photos, 3D objects and figures, sketches, old photographs and other mediums to invoke a sense of improvisation.
Even the spaces between the individual pieces as well as the series of pieces were intentional, mimicking the work of Blinky Palermo’s 1976 work “To the People of New York City.” Palermo’s work, which was an inspiration for Benning, presented paintings in a rhythmic pattern of scale, proximity and number.
Political intentions lie beneath the surface of “Shared Eye” and Jones shared her own thoughts of what Benning is representing through the pieces.
“For me, it has a feeling of being an ode to the United States,” Jones said. “There is an ambiguity in the work that is the opposite of what we are experiencing in current times of an ‘us versus them’ situation.”
The juxtaposition of Benning’s pieces gives off the sense of “not one size fits all” in both the visionary world and in the political world.
A layering time element is also presented in Benning’s pieces. The exhibit moves from day to night, in almost a dreamlike sequence that ends up producing an unexpected narrative.
A number of events will be held at the Renaissance Society during “Shared Eye” including an exhibition walk-through on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m., an ambiguity forum on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m., and a lecture featuring Lynne Cooke on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at Kent Hall, 1020 E. 58th St., in room 120.
“Shared Eye” runs through Jan. 22 at the Renaissance Society.