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Ben Grasso, Clearing

Thierry Goldberg Projects
5 Rivington Street, 212-967-2260
East Village / Lower East Side
May 8 - June 7, 2009
Reception: Friday, May 8, 6 - 8 PM
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Thierry Goldberg Projects is pleased to present Clearing, an exhibition of Ben Grasso’s latest paintings. With his new body of work, Grasso continues to explore the boundaries between notions of representation and abstraction. Tossed like confetti, hurtling parts of man-made structures freeze in midair and mingle with nature—suggesting a potential surprise within all objects.

Grasso targets and tears at the seams of bucolic calm, clearing his own path through pictured landscape. He relates, “I’m more interested in the logic that makes things appear to be ‘real’ or to possibly exist in the world . . . I like that painting can be freeing.” This energy motivates his process and point of view with a will to free all from gravity and structure. In turn, he breaks appearance down to the fringe of abstraction where relations of form and color swarm together. In The Middle of a Wheat Field, associations between exterior and interior (wheat field / straw scarecrow stuffing), trace Grasso’s trademark autonomous demolition.

Disordering the organization of space is an inherent sociological phenomenon that Grasso borrows from Jan Gehl’s book Life Between Buildings. The innate behavior to establish and then subvert limitations expresses how the social spheres of public and private are constructed and maintained. In the paintings Monument to a Place I’ve Been and Edifice, Grasso dismantles the sense of private and public by dissolving the distinction between interior surfaces and exterior planes. Like a dream of Gordon Matta-Clark’s, Grasso’s paintings recall specific places he has visited and the scattered memories inherent to place. As much as he takes apart, Grasso re-collects and reassembles.

Ben Grasso lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds an MFA in painting from Hunter College New York, and a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art. His work has been recently exhibited in ‘The Grand’ at the Wallace Center, SUNY Purchase, NY; as well as in ‘Out Behind the Shed’ at the Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA; and in ‘The Big Bang’ at Spaces, Cleveland, OH. Previous gallery solo exhibitions include ‘Close to Home’ at Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; ‘Explosion’ at Agenzia04, Bologna, Italy; and ‘In My Own Backyard’ at Sixtyseven Gallery, New York. He was also included in group shows at Crossing Art Gallery, Queens, NY; Bucket Rider Gallery, Chicago; and ECA Gallery, Edinburgh Scotland. Grasso’s work was featured and reviewed by Art in America, Beautiful/Decay Magazine, and Harper’s Magazine.
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