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sadie benning

Pain Thing

Wexner Center for the Arts, Colombus
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Pain thing

Pain Thing is a single installation consisting of 63 small wood panels grouped into 19 discrete and separately titled sequences that extend through three adjacent spaces. Acrylic paint and photo transparencies are layered on each panel, followed by coats of meticulously applied clear resin. The overall resultcomplicates the relationship between flatness and dimensionality while raising questions of narrative and memory, specifically in relation to traumatic andcollectively inherited events.

Sadie Benning became well-known in the early 1990s for making brilliant low-tech videos—urgent and moving confessionals documenting their own teenaged sensibility. For most of the current decade, they’ve concentrated on gallery-based projects, often using found photographic imagery as the base material for works that ultimately combine elements of sculpture and painting into a unique hybrid. For 2020, Benning returns to the Wex with a new work of striking scale and ambition.