October 28 – December 3, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011: Opening Reception and Artist Talk, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, November 4, 2011: November First Friday Reception, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Friday, December 2, 2011: December First Friday Reception, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
1708 Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition Push, Pull, Resist featuring the interactive work of Christian Benefiel. Please join us for the opening reception on October 28, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm and enjoy a talk by the artist at 6:30 as well as hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Benefiel’s work will be on display through Saturday, December 3.
In Push, Pull, Resist, Benefiel’s inflatable sculptures, made from reclaimed marine materials, evoke the “action that separates hope from optimism.” The mass production of objects in our modern society alienates the consumer from the producer, a phenomenon that Benefiel attempts to counteract. In response to the prevalence of automated labor, Benefiel emphasizes craftsmanship and the importance of the hand in making and experiencing objects.
Benefiel’s work invites the audience to participate, blurring the lines between artist, art, and viewer. “The Forms suggest a playful purpose, an intentional nonsense and a methodical balance between tedium, activity and entertainment.” His sculpture forces the viewer to reconsider the nature of creation and to witness “the materiality of expression and effort.”
Benefiel earned his BFA from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and his MFA from University of Maryland in College Park, MD. He has exhibited his work widely in the United States and Europe in both solo and group exhibitions. Benefiel has received many honors, including a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant and a William J. Fulbright Post-Graduate Research Grant. He lives and works in western Maryland and teaches sculpture at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. For more information on Christian Benefiel and his work, please visit: www.christianbenefiel.com.