During 30 years spent building a polysemous body of work which exploits the flow of images by selecting certain snapshots, Carole Benzaken has been methodically developing a homogeneous style that does not by any means exclude the formation of heterogeneous ramifications. The artist questions the profusion and the speed with which images constantly rain down on us.
Benzaken’s work relies firstly on a bank of images collected from the media and press, and a database of films and personal photographs. Working simultaneously on the painted background and on the digital surface of the piece, the artists sets the stage of a multifaceted theatre that plays on both the inside and the outside, privacy and surface, group codes and individual memory. From “painting” to the spatial enlargement of painting, her work branches out into various media using video, the preformation of the painted image, and its extension into the architectural space.
Today her work places itself in confrontation with the surrounding architecture. With the use of different bases, from painting to video to laminated glass, Benzaken blurs artistic boundaries with a cunning montage that mixes multiple image codes and their means of perception.
This creation by the artist for the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire, is a work composed of three paintings.
“A library is a type of inner landscape for its owner, who becomes in a way the author, the issuer, and the curator as well as the patron, the receiver, and the reader-onlooker.
In these recent paintings of libraries, a new field is opened up which takes us from landscape-place to body, from closed to open, from plural to singular.
It is the point of departure for a journey which situates itself within the Château’s interior and branches out into new prepositions over time.”
Carole Benzaken was born in Grenoble in 1964, and now lives and works in Paris. After graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in 1994 she made a grand entrance on the artistic scene with an exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.
After winning the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2004, she held the Search for the New Land exhibition at the Centre Pompidou’s Espace 315. Benzaken’s work has been the subject of many dedicated exhibitions, at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme in Paris in 2011, the Musée de Beaux-Arts in Nancy in the spring of 2014, as well as the BWA Contemporary Art Gallery in Katowice, Poland, in autumn of 2015, the prestigious Carré Saint-Anne in Montpellier, the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2016, and the Musée de Louviers in 2017. In 2019 the Centre de Monuments Nationaux invited her to create a monumental work, entitled Degrés, to be displayed in the Abbaye de Cluny The same year, the Château-Musée de Tournon-sur-Rhône also gave her carte blanche for a creation on the theme “Où va le vent”.
She has also received multiple public commissions for works such as a tapestry for the Mobilier National in 1998, stained glass for the Église Saint-Sulpice in Varennes-Jarcy from 1997–2001, and a monumental backlit programmable polyptych glass screen for Rue Blanche in Paris created between 2009–2012.
Carole Benzaken has been represented by the Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles since 1993.