Over the years, I have created a broad range of work on paper, panel, and through site-sensitive installation. Using the metaphor of landscape to explore themes of coexistence, community, vulnerability, and accountability, I have created work that moves fluidly between media and materials. I collage graphic simplified spaces that are saturated with color, geometries and populated with both abstract and recognizable organic forms that occupy the intersection of the built and natural world, exploring the human impact and imagined utopias. These 2D and 3D spaces are informed by my own observations, and the drive to conjure new spaces to explore. Though the “figure” is distinctly absent from most of the work, the themes and concerns of the work are profoundly human, as I work to embody loss and absence, resilience, and exuberance through the assertive materiality of the work.
I have developed a visual lexicon that considers the dimensionality of a site, flowing from wall to ceiling or floor, and engaging planes and areas that would otherwise remain inactive Recently, I have created sculptural wall-based installations in powder-coated steel and aluminum, paper, plastic film, and cardboard. I have identified the corner as a conceptually rich, though infrequently used, architectural space in which to explore the push and pull, and tension of dual forces. Here, two planes meet in tension, diverging and converging at once, distinct but reliant on each other for stability, and together forming structural integrity. In recent work, I explore simultaneity, dualities, and perceived contradictions. I complicate forms by folding, cutting, and adding planes, showing multiple sides simultaneously. Through the work, I hope to describe the balancing act of both connection and separation, distinct and fluid boundaries, and the fertile ground of the edge: a space of dynamic movement, where growth, change, and life asserts itself.
Benicia Gantner has exhibited widely in the U.S, including shows in San Francisco, Berkeley, Brooklyn , Boston, Detroit, Seattle, and Los Angeles and has been commissioned to make site specific work for the Oakland Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. Her work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Crocker Art Museum, as well as numerous private and corporate collections. Gantner’s work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Brooklyn Rail, Art News, California Home + Design, East Bay Monthly, Art Ltd. and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Gantner received a B.A. in Studio Art and Religion from Bowdoin College, and completed her M.F.A. in printmaking at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Gantner currently lives + works in the Bay Area.