Kate Werble Gallery presents Moss Garden, Anna Betbeze’s first solo show in New York City.
Moss Garden is a new group of large-scale works made from room-size Flokati carpets, using huge wool slabs as a ground to accumulate a saturation of color and density of mark. Betbeze burns, bleaches, stains, cuts, etches, and tears the wool to go beyond its material limits, creating dark, expansive and beautifully grotesque paintings.
Through the extreme physicality of making the work and the elimination of a traditional canvas, Betbeze explores the act of painting in an expanded field. In some of the works the center is completely removed as if she has removed the subject, leaving it bare: “my process is the simultaneity of making and unmaking, at once the original object is destroyed and a new one emerges.” She continues to build on the language of this trajectory in the spirit of wild material experimentation.
The title Moss Garden references Michel Foucault’s lecture “Of Other Spaces” where he spoke of the relationship of rug to garden. Betbeze’s series of paintings locate a dark and densely matted place that spreads out like a stain, aggressively seeking a form. The result of her material transgressions is a series of five pieces that are vivid and abject.
Anna Betbeze was born in Mobile, Alabama. She received her BFA from the University of Georgia in 2003 and her MFA from Yale University in 2006. She lives and works in New York City and teaches at Yale School of Art. In the summer of 2010, Betbeze participated in group exhibitions at Ramiken Crucible, New York, NY, and Horton Gallery, Berlin, Germany. She has also shown at Rachel Uffner Gallery, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space, and PPOW Gallery in New York. Kate Werble Gallery featured Betbeze’s work in 2008 with a two-person exhibition titled Parlor and Roseville.