The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University Presents Fletcher Benton Exhibits
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University explores the work of world-renowned kinetic and constructivist sculptor Fletcher Benton through two exhibitions: Fletcher Benton: The Artist's Studio and Fletcher Benton: In Motion. Both shows are on view now to Dec. 6.
Fletcher Benton: The Artist's Studio, a traveling exhibition from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, looks at the inspirations, processes, toys, and tools that the artist uses to create his work. Conceived by Benton himself, The Artist's Studio provides a rare opportunity to see the studio - a typically private space - through the artist's eyes.
Using a combination of maquettes, studies, unfinished works, and completed monumental sculptures, the exhibition traces Benton's process from start to finish, highlighting each step from conception to execution. The sculptural works are juxtaposed with large-scale photographs of Benton's creative environment and enhanced with a soundtrack and a replica of his work table, complete with a video of welding sparks underneath. These components create an immersive experience that transports the viewer from the gallery to the studio.
Benton's workspace is an extension and reflection of his aesthetic philosophy. By inviting the viewer into that space, the exhibition provides profound insight into the artistic practice of one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century.
Programmed in conjunction with The Artist's Studio, Fletcher Benton, In Motion highlights some of Benton's early, and most well-known, kinetic works. In some sculptures, the kinetic movement follows a clearly discernible arrangement; in others the pattern of motion is so complex it appears random; in one the change over time is so slow it is almost imperceptible. They share the same visual language and aesthetic principles that continue to characterize Benton's work today. As such, they not only mark an important creative direction in the artist's portfolio, but also lay the foundation for the pieces on view in The Artist's Studio.
The museum celebrates the opening of both exhibits on Thursday, Sept. 26. A free, public reception will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
On Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. the de Saisset Museum will host a Q&A with Fletcher Benton focused on the exhibitions and his studio practice. The program is open to the public.