In Between Days: Group exhibition opens at Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York

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In Between Days: Group exhibition opens at Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York
Leonardo Benzant, Bambula from the series Paraphernalia of the Urban Shaman M:5, 2012-14. Clothes/textiles, cardboard tubes, leather, caucasian baby doll, caucasian mannequin-head, chickenbone, brown barbiedoll, horsehair, glitter, coins, powdered charcoal, saliva, earth, cigar-ash, coffee-grinds, vija/ashiote, powdered-eggshell, string, wire, monofilament, various plant bundles, matte medium, rabbit skin glue, rice glue, glass seedbeads, rum and miscellaneous, Site specific installation. ©Leonardo Benzant. Courtesy Driscoll Babcock Galleries.

NEW YORK, NY.- Driscoll Babcock Galleries presents In Between Days, a group exhibition featuring artists whose works are situated in the liminal spaces between memory and loss, dreams and reality, the scientific and the spiritual, the present and the past. Through explorations that push the bounds of their artistic practices, Leonardo Benzant, Michael Maxwell, Jennifer Packer, Kara Rooney, and Luke Whitlatch express the universality contained within individual phenomena.

Jennifer Packer’s lyrical paintings challenge the divisions between realism and abstraction. As her figures are broken down, foreground merges into background and figures merge into space, forcing the viewer to acknowledge the multitudes of meanings and contradictions not only within her works, but within society as a whole. Luke Whitlatch’s whimsical, flight-like abstractions likewise evade any absolute reading, instead exploring how memories change over time. The artist calls upon specific events from his past as a starting point, which are reinvented and retold, exaggerated and embellished, until they take on a life of their own.

In a parallel manner, Kara Rooney’s delicate sculptures, from the series On Moving Farther Away from Speech, or Hindsight is Never Twenty/Twenty, study the openly interpretative nature of language and poetry. Employing literal transformative elements (ice, water, and gas) to explore slipping memory, social interaction and actual event, she highlights how language’s inherent blind spots affect our sense of collective consciousness.

Equally influenced by the urban experience and the rituals and traditions of the non-Western world, Michael Maxwell and Leonardo Benzant create works that strive to reconnect us to a shared cultural memory. Leonardo Benzant’s sculptures from the series, Paraphernalia of the Urban Shaman M:5, are inspired by African power-objects, such as the minkisi and makutos of the Bakongo tribe, while also visually referencing the banding patterns of chromosomes, thus fusing the spiritual with the scientific. Michael Maxwell’s Phosphenes – Phoenix for the American Republic, based on the patterns of entopic imagery experienced during deep states of brainwave activity, evoke a spontaneous higher order. Integrating their personal cosmology with the physical, spiritual, and neurological modes of communication used in the ritual and meditative practices of indigenous cultures, both artists- in their uniquely individual methods- seek a deeper understanding and exploration of a universal shared consciousness.

As we seek to marry our understanding of the internal and the external, the past and the present, the cosmic and the infinitesimal, the individual and the universal, the exhibition provides a snapshot of current artistic practices which occupy this realm of in-betweens. Where language fails, these artists establish a discourse between the experiences that inform our personal identity and the collective conscious, the endless stream of images and figures that are swept into the subconscious, and the anomalies of the brain which together shape our personal and cultural narratives.

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