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Manfredi Beninati, Flavio and Palermo, in the summer

James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street, 212-714-9500
February 17 - March 17, 2007
Reception: Saturday, February 17, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Manfredi Beninati is best known for work that addresses the nostalgia for childhood through the lens of memory. Using the visual vernacular of dreams and fairy tales, Beninati’s work is filled with characters and environments that create a space where the unconscious imagination is rendered visible. His imagery embodies the same slippage between fantasy and reality as can be found in the work of Antonio Ligabue and the writings of Italo Calvino and Lewis Carroll.

In the painting Untitled (Fes-Hagosh), the night sky is bright with what appears to be the acid green and fluorescent pink blaze of the Aurora Borealis. Other mysterious light effects emerge from the ground, revealing a world that is both dreamlike and unsettling. In Untitled (Pirrina), a bathroom has been obscured by flowers, overgrown plants and streamers that transform into psychedelic patterns throughout the composition. While reinforcing Beninati’s fascination with liminal spaces, these new paintings continue to reveal his interest in pushing the psychological and material boundaries of the work.

Beninati will also create an installation similar to his much acclaimed contribution to the Venice Biennale in 2005, in which the viewer peered through a glass door into a room of an abandoned eighteenth-century palazzo. For this exhibition, Beninati plays with the viewer’s sense of perception with an extraordinary simulacrum of a contemporary domestic environment.
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