As the travel ban to the USA remains in effect for non-US citizens we have decided to defer our participation at Armory NY until 2022. Instead we shall be presenting at the London gallery a short exhibition (to run in tandem with the actual event taking place in NY) of the extraordinary new body of work by Anna Freeman Bentley that had been intended for the fair. These works will also be featured in the fair’s online edition: Armory Online.
The works presented at the gallery and online represent a continuation and development of the themes and subjects of her 2020 solo exhibition 'Collected & Composed', Freeman Bentley focuses here on the controlled chaos of flea-markets and junk shops. From these ready-made eclectic interior compositions she edits and re-expresses in exquisite colour and form the strange and beguiling nature of the 'random' environment - suggesting deeply personal human narratives, whilst maintaining the total depopulation of the picture plane that has become a signature of her work.
The body of work centres around a series of 5 large-scale and highly impressive portrait orientation canvases, each containing it’s own environment, and it’s own dynamic reinterpretation of light and palette that gives Freeman Bentley’s work its unique magnetism. From the cluttered yet somehow perfectly balanced arrangements in Designating and Illuminating to the strong central components in Bittersweet and Re-building (a glittering chandelier in one, a somewhat mysterious feeling mirror in the other) we also see the full range of Freeman Bentley’s command of composition.
The smaller works on canvas and panel, such as Cluster and Curiosity pull us closer in, to the point where we can focus totally on individual compositional moments, and where the bounding elements, such as window panes or (literal) picture frames begin to blur into more abstract forms. The works on paper, too, give another quality – a slightly looser, more painterly interplay with the surface, as the smaller scale (whilst still addressing complex imagery) allows individual objects to be represented here and there by a single, deliberate brushstroke.
Anna Freeman Bentley (b. 1982, London) is a graduate of the Royal College of Art (receiving her MA in Painting in 2010), having previously studied at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee, Berlin, and Chelsea College of Art and Design. She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Frestonian Gallery, London (2020), DENK Gallery, Los Angeles (2019), Ahmanson Gallery, Irvine, California (2018) and Space K, Seoul (2017).
Her work has been included in prestigious prizes and institutional exhibitions such as the Dentons Prize, East London Painting Prize, the Prague Biennale and the Bloomberg New Contemporaries. In 2019 she was awarded both the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and the Palazzo Monti residency in Brescia, Italy.Her work is held in the Saatchi Collection & Hogan Lovells Collection (London), Hotel Crillon Collection (Paris), Ahmanson Collection (California) and numerous private collections worldwide. She lives and works in London.
For further information on the works and the Armory Show please visit thearmoryshow.com