For Modern Resting, 2020-21
A restful exhibition of doormats, suns, seat cushions, a shoe rack and a clock.
“Inspired by the joy, sensibility, and humanism of mid-century modern designer Alexander Girard, this exhibition carries forward the idea that rest is an inherently vital act. Artist Erik Benjamins, in collaboration with Finnegan Shannon, Lauren Godfrey, and Norma, creates an inviting and thoughtful environment that welcomes viewers to contemplate how sensory engagement and slowness manifest in daily life.
For Modern Resting presents newly created artworks that converse with the forms of design, the rhythms of domestic space, and the performative potential of writing. Seat cushions feature embroidered text that beckon one to sit; a generously-sized shoe rack invites visitors to remove their shoes; a dual time zone wall clock alludes to the limits and possibilities of transatlantic collaboration under quarantine; wall text rendered in airbrushed acrylic presents transcriptions of collected representations of the sun. These works orbit the show’s centerpiece, a modular configuration of sculptural doormats made of hand-pressed tiles that mimic the affect of reflexology walking paths.
The exhibition’s namesake references the design exhibition For Modern Living, curated by Girard at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1949. This immersive show featured a global cohort of designers that embraced modern materials and technologies to reimagine objects for the home. For Modern Resting finds inspiration from this historic exhibition as an extension of a uniquely Girardian spirit, which emphasizes a distinct kind of moving and making under the influence of optimism, curiosity, and empathy.”
First exhibited at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine from 16 Oct – 11 Dec, 2020. View the Gallery Guide.
Facing an early closure due to COVID-19, the exhibition was also hosted by Marta, Los Angeles from 16 Jan – 21 February, 2021. Further images and information can be viewed here.