The River Laughs While The Sky Cries
September 19 – October 31, 2020
*David Wilson is a curator, artist, and long time collaborator & friend of Drew Bennett
Drew Bennett interviewed by Juxtapoz magazine
Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The River Laughs While The Sky Cries, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with Oakland-based artist Drew Bennett. The exhibition will be open** and on view to the public from September 19 – October 31, as well as accessible through a number of online platforms, accompanied by public programs, collaborations, and an artist book release.
Building upon it flows through and all around you, Bennett’s first solo exhibition in 2019, the artist continues his discovery, through painting, of the relationship between the human body and nature. He approaches this through a contemporary aesthetic that combines the traditions of romantic landscape painting with interpretations of photographic snapshots and memories.
There is an underlying tension to being in nature. In the same moment, one can be awestruck yet quite literally fall off the trail. Knowing this, Bennett aims to remind the viewer of the rewards for giving over to the world around us, even to the extent of getting lost, an experience and feeling he holds onto deeply out in nature and as part of his studio process. His painted scenes all contain autobiographical elements of personal adventures into the land yet leave a spaciousness for the viewer to imagine their own journey. Bennett’s backgrounds and foregrounds do more than just set the stage for humans in nature, they are dynamic layers rich with color that meld and merge, allowing his subjects to become intertwined, co-existent, and in some works obscured from the scene completely.
As stated in the commissioned essay for this exhibition by David Wilson, Bennett’s deep connection to the scenes and emotions in this imagery are in fact part of back-to-the-land experiences, many of which he has cultivated with David and other Bay Area artists. Bennett has affectionately referred to this group as the Naturalists. An idealistic celebration of nature as a subject matter is not new to Northern California artists, nor the history of American art since the Hudson River School. In a time when we are ever-reminded of the forces in the natural world that can drastically alter human life, from a cellular level to a few degree changes in our atmosphere, Bennett’s work aims to re-center nature’s sublime essence as an all-powerful and constant force of good in our collective existence. These paintings guide us back to a celebration of the human body in harmony with nature, restoring faith in the cycle of life.
Drew Bennett (b. 1981, Chicago, IL) is an Oakland-based artist. He graduated from Colorado College in 2004 (BA, Fine Arts). Bennett moved to San Francisco in 2005 where he exhibited painting, installation and social practice work as well as developed his own business as a designer and builder. In 2012, Bennett founded FB AIR, Facebook’s artist in residency program. Between 2012 and 2018, Bennett grew the program from a headquarters-based residency experience to an international site-specific installation program commissioning hundreds of new works annually. In 2015, Bennett co-founded Starline Social Club (Oakland) with Adam Hatch and Sam White. Now resigned from his roles at Facebook and Starline, he is dedicated to his art and family.
** Note to Visitors
In order to provide a safe environment for our staff and the public, visitors will be asked to comply with the following protocols as well as to respect instructions given by gallery staff.
– A temperature check will be electronically taken before entry by Minnesota Street Project’s visitor services.
– A limited number of visitors will be permitted within the exhibition spaces.
– Advance appointments are required.
– Visitors must wear masks for the duration of their visit.
– Visitors must maintain at least 6 feet distance from others.
– Hand sanitizer will be provided for use.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions about these guidelines, or to schedule your visit.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
In The Studio With Drew Bennett, Oakland Hills, California.