Born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1990, Sarah K. Benning grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where she graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in 2009 as a Fine Arts Major. While in high school she was included in a number of youth oriented group shows around Baltimore and participated in co-curating Dawoud Bey’s project Portraits Re/Examined at the Walters Art Museum (2008). That same year she studied landscape painting through a study trip organized by the Maryland Institute College of Art in Castel del Piano, Italy. She continued her arts education by interning at Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum under director Irene Hofmann (2008-2009).
In 2009 Benning moved to Chicago, Illinois to complete her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing in Fiber and Material Studies and Arts Administration. While in school, she has interned with the Chicago Artists Coalition in the marketing and membership outreach departments and as a preparator intern. She has been included in a number of group exhibitions throughout the city of Chicago.
I investigate the passage of time as it relates to the human body, translating the growth and deterioration of various bodily functions and internal systems into abstract compositions of accumulated marks on paper. I methodically build surfaces of pinpricks, stitches, and drawn line that represent anxieties about my own body in terms of surface imperfections and physical limitations. Through these processes I push the limits of my own body, testing my endurance and focus. The patterns that emerge from these painstaking and repetitive techniques become material manifestations of time and visually suggest internal structures, chemical processes, and daily traumas that the body withstands. The repetition breaks down time, isolating each second as refuge from a lifetime of change and deterioration and the systematic drawing techniques celebrate the complex structures that operate the human body.
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