Our studio Sunday feature this week is Amy Bennett. Bennett is an American artist whose artworks bridge the gap between sculpture and painting, with a conceptual focus on the darkly humorous narratives found in modern suburbia. To create her narrative paintings, Bennett constructs highly detailed dioramas to use as reference for numerous works, changing small elements of scenery and figure to suit the story she wishes to tell.
It’s really interesting to see both aspects of Bennett’s studio (sculpture and painting) united in this studio space. The idea of building these dioramas as reference for paintings strikes me a painstaking option, with the artist essentially creating each image twice. It seems that painting from observation is traditionally thought of as an activity that takes place outdoors, or in public, so it’s interesting to see the same activity being carried out in the confines of an indoor studio space.
There’s something interesting about the scale of the work here -- in the above photo Bennett’s diorama is quite large, extending to take up a significant portion of the overall room. I find it slightly reminiscent of the studio of Pip and Pop -- perhaps not so much in the aesthetics, but certainly in the idea of creating this massive -- yet tiny to scale -- sculptural environment.
The studio space itself seems divided relatively equally between materials for sculpture and materials for paint. The paintings placed evenly along the wall suggest different viewpoints and angles of the central diorama, giving any visitor to the studio an instant, 360-degree view of this sprawling sculpture.