January 25 - February 18, 2017
Keren Benbenisty • Liliya Lifanova • Brett Swenson
Curated by Melinda Wang
Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, NYC

Push/Strike/Resist is a group exhibition organized in collaboration with Residency Unlimited, featuring the works of Keren BenbenistyLiliya Lifanova and Brett Swenson. The exhibition will be on view from January 25 through February 18, 2017, with a public opening reception on January 25, 6-8pm.

The three artists explore how we confront boundaries – physical, natural, social and political – and examine different approaches to negotiating tension and resistance. Keren Benbenisty investigates how nature both undermines and overtakes man-made physical and political borders in the Mediterranean. In her new video work, she examines our comprehension of the magnitude of nature in a hypnotic translation of nautical charts of the depths of the sea. Liliya Lifanova breaks and mends surfaces, redefining drawing in a site-specific installation of bull-whipped paper and pins. In her ceramic sculptures evoking Czech border fortifications, Lifanova juxtaposes fragility and strength, while addressing the need for tension to achieve physical balance. Brett Swenson’s obsidian and jack-post installation invades the gallery space with a symbiosis of the natural and man-made. He pushes the limits of the materials while the work seemingly extends beyond the gallery’s vertical boundaries.

With a shared emphasis on materiality and experimentation, each of the artists exposes in their work the desire to break down false limits and the range of human emotions that come when confronting the unknown.

Keren Benbenisty (b. 1977 in Herzeliya, Israel; lives and works in New York, NY) graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2004. Her solo exhibitions include “Mare Nostrum,” Francesca Antonini Gallery, Rome, Italy (2016) and recent group exhibitions include “Saxa Loquuntur Stones Speak,” El Museo de Los Sures, Brooklyn, NY (2015); “In Conversation II, From the Museum Collection,” Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (2015); “Of Average Means,” Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA (2015); “Sextant,” NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY (2015); “Two Different Ways To Do Two Different Things,” Kristen Lorello Gallery, NY (2015); and “Kamil,” Pseudo Empire, Brooklyn, NY (2014). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.

Liliya Lifanova (b. 1983 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; lives and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2010 and her BFA from The City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 2006. Her solo exhibitions include “Study for L’Attente,” W10W, New York, NY (2016); “Rumour from Ground Control,” Rooster Gallery, New York, NY (2015); “canvass [PHASE I, II],” Gridchinhall, Moscow, Russia and “Flying Carpet Prayers,” El Posito, Belalcazar, Cordoba, Spain (both in 2011); and “The Wardrobe: A Game in Waiting,” SUGs Gallery X, Chicago, IL (2009). Recent group exhibitions include “Ladies Knight,” World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum, Saint Louis, MO (2016); and “Time + Space (Beginnings),” Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2016). Her work is in the permanent collection of the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Brett Swenson (b. 1987 in Chicago, IL; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. His solo exhibitions include “Potential Difference,” Agnes Varis Art Center, Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY (2014) and recent group exhibitions include “Paracosm", Norte Maar, Brooklyn, NY (2016); “50 Years of RISD Glass: Material”, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, RI (2016); SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai (2016); “Perched in the Eye of a Tornado,” Ying Space, Beijing (2015);  “Art of the Fellowship,” Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts, NJ (2015); Pioneer Works Artist in Residence, Brooklyn, NY (2014); and “Come Together: Surviving Sandy,” Brooklyn, NY (2013).

The artists’ residencies with Residency Unlimited in Fall 2016 and this exhibition were made possible with support from a National Endowment for the Arts/Art Works grant and the Dedalus Foundation.

This exhibition is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Dedalus Foundation.  

(Images: NYArt Photography)