Steve DiBenedetto at Derek Eller

Artist: Steve DiBenedetto

Exhibition title: Toasted with Everything

Venue: Derek Eller, New York, US

Date: March 22 – April 22, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Derek Eller, New York

Toasted with Everything will be Steve DiBenedetto’s third solo exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery and for this occasion he has summoned a collection of vibrant mutants on can-vas. Guided by a genuine belief in some alchemical ethos that paint can and should catalyze true transmutation, DiBenedetto paints with unique confidence. Through what he describes as “procedural painting”, a form of genera-tive art, these compositions are arrived at through deep disassociation, or “letting the paint decide”. This state combined with DiBenedetto’s practiced and battle-tested hand, allow for new and undiscovered forms to slink out of the primordial ooze of oil and pigment.

 Over the course of DiBenedetto’s career he’s established and tooled an iconic lexicon. Helicopters, Ferris wheels and octopuses played prominent roles in his canon. In this newest group of paintings DiBenedetto has delved deeper into the etymology, forgoing his standard language for pre-historic guttural expression. Viewing these paintings is to engage  in  a  free-associative  translation  where  many words  are  conjured  but  none  are  pronounced.  Eyeball! Vegetable! Spaceship! A Mayan monument constructed of trash bags full of spaghetti! These elusively pre-linguistic forms mesmerize and engage the viewer. Each painting has a monolithically sculptural quality and while the imagery meanders, everything is concretely held to-gether as morphological figuration by seemingly cubist sub-structures.

 But long time fans can rest assured, it’s still Steve being Steve. As always he’s engaged in strenuous combat with the canvas. Every imaginable application of paint both reductive and additive is thrown at it, testing the limitations and elasticity of the material. Paintings here range from small to colossal in scale, but each is tackled with the same unwavering veracity. The collapse of counter culture’s utopi-an promise remains at the forefront and while psychedelia still reverberates, the paranoid, post-hippy citations have assertively made way for the flame-flicked visions of a shaman’s campfire.

 Steve DiBenedetto (b. 1958) has exhibited extensively including solo outings at Cherry and Martin (Los Angeles, CA), the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT), Half Gallery (New York, NY) and David Nolan (New York, NY), and was recently included in CHHUNKS at The National Ex-emplar (New York, NY). He has been included in museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), Neues Museum (Nurnberg, Germany), Kunstverein Museum Schloss Morsbroich (Lev-erkusen, Germany), MAMCO (Geneva, Switzerland) and others. His work is included in public collec-tions such as The Morgan Library & Museum (New York, NY), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY). DiBenedetto lives and works in New York.

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, exhibition view, Derek Eller, New York

Steve DiBenedetto, Tresspasser, 2017, oil on linen, 36 x 24 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Metaphysical Salami, 2018, oil on linen, 60 x 48 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Paramus Mars, 2018, oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Toasted with Everything, 2018, oil on linen, 117 x 78 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Zero Sum Yoga, 2018, oil on linen, 31 x 25 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Traipser, 2018, oil on canvas, 65 x 60 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Three Third Eyes, 2018, oil on canvas, 79 x 48 inches

Steve DiBenedetto, Inverse Evidence, 2018, oil on linen, 11 x 14 inches

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