Wild Silence: A Solo Exhibition by Jana Benitez
8 September - 29 October
Presenting at Pearl Lam Galleries, Wild Silence is a solo exhibition by Filipino-American artist Jana Benitez. This exhibition showcases Benitez’s recent work and her investigation of the countless ways that painting can inform our understanding of the human body.
Wild Silence celebrates the medium of painting as uniquely equipped to explore the complexity and mystery of our embodied experience. In the exhibition title, “wild” captures the intuitive, boundless qualities of our feelings and sensations, while “silence” connotes the deliberate withdrawal from worldly distractions required for us to be present in our immediate experience.
In the gallery space, a singular buoyant spirit runs through a diverse array of painting styles and formats. Sparse, lyrical compositions of dancing figures, for example, hang alongside more visceral, explosive, gestural pieces in dense impasto as well as calm abstractions of expansive space. Benitez employs a wide range of painterly techniques—from traditional painting with brushes and squeegees to experimental water reticulation—all in service of expressing the intensity, depth, and intricacies of feelings. Furthermore, the artist varies the pace and size of her marks, their levels of transparency or opacity, the relationship between colour massing and line, the wetness and dryness of the paint, and most importantly, the innovative manner in which these techniques can layer on top of one another. In turn, the human body is recognised in a multitude of ways: as a holistic refuge, as a tuning fork, as a carrier of memory, as a vehicle for somatic information, as a loudspeaker for intuition, as carnal matter, and as a site for energetic alchemy. This is most explicit in Benitez’s series of intimate drawings, which provide clues to potential interpretations of the exhibition at large.