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Allan Stone Projects opens exhibition of works by Barton Benes
Barton Benes, Untitled (Yellow Book with Rope), Circa 1972-74. Mixed media book construction, 3 1/4 x 10 x 6 1/2 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- Allan Stone Projects is presenting Barton Benes: Books on view January 9 - February 24, 2018. Although known for his work that dealt with the AIDS epidemic, Barton Benes (1942 - 2012) was a prolific artist who continuously worked with everyday objects. The meaning of books and how we perceive them was a favorite subject. Using the book as a symbol for knowledge, Benes conceals the information inherent to the object's purpose either as cheeky irreverence or as a commentary on American cultural values. For instance, a book on corporate financial policy becomes a purse, a book covered with nails relates to African fetish objects and a copy of Sold American, a book on consumer behavior, is punctured with holes.

Benes’ fascination with the fetishism of objects relates to the work of artists such as Paul Thek and Mike Kelley, using the flotsam, jetsam, and detritus of American society to reveal the dark underbelly of untenable ideals. Many of Benes’ sculptures act as cultural memento mori, manipulated with a sardonic sense of humor. As a collector of African art, cabinet of curiosities and other artifacts, Benes found beauty and meaning in relics of human life and culture, which was endemic to his art.

Barton Benes was born in Westwood, NJ, in 1942. After graduating from Pratt University in the early 1960s, Benes spent over 40 years in New York’s West Village, where he lived and worked in a studio at Westbeth Artists Community. Living as an HIV-positive man, Benes became a social advocate for those suffering from the illness, and served on the board of VISUAL-Aids, an awareness and prevention organization for the disease. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including a 1978 Ariana Foundation Award for Art in Mixed Media, a 1983 Rutgers University Vorhees Grant for Printmaking, and a 1988 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. His work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, the New York Public Library, the Boras Konstmuseum, Sweden, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Katonah Museum of Art, NY, and the North Dakota Museum of Art among others. His work is in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Smithsonian, The U.S. Mint and the North Dakota Museum of Art.

Today's News

January 10, 2018

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Milestone's Jan. 27 Military & Firearms Auction includes Hitler's desk, Yalta Conference painting, John Wayne's revolver

LACMA and the Autry Museum of the American West announce an unprecedented new partnership

Allan Stone Projects opens exhibition of works by Barton Benes

Sotheby's New York opens 2018 auctions with "Americana Week: We the People"

Exhibition of works by Biala from the collection of Harvey and Phyllis Lichtenstein on view at Tibor de Nagy

Exhibition showcases the sublime beauty that light evokes aesthetically and thematically

Lévy Gorvy opens first solo exhibition dedicated to artist and composer Terry Adkins

Dallas Museum of Art displays mural painting by Hopi artists

Artworks by Wesselmann, Walker, Bonheur will headline Nye & Company's Jan. 31st auction

London play charts real-life drama of 'Jungle' migrant camp

MoMA announces full line-up for Doc Fortnight 2018

New series of paintings by Pamela Golden on view at Marlborough Fine Art

First UK solo exhibition of recent work by artist Sriwhana Spong opens at Pump House Gallery

Sensing Architecture: A new publication from the Royal Academy of Arts

Jeanie Riddle's third solo exhibition at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran opens in Montreal

Taft Museum of Art announces $5 million gift from Sallie Robinson Wadsworth to endow position

Exhibition presents a thoughtful and contemporary look at inequalities and social justice in Memphis

First New York solo exhibition of artist Gamaliel Rodriguez opens at Nathalie Karg Gallery

London prepares to sparkle with Lumiere festival

Academy Art Museum exhibition: The Caprichos: Goya and Lombardo continues through February 25

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