Knowledge Bennett - Road to Damascus
January 15 through May 2, 2020
About the exhibition
“If you want to know what’s on a man’s mind listen to what comes out of his mouth. If you want to know what’s in a man’s heart watch what he does with the time allotted to him.” — Knowledge Bennett
Road to Damascus is a comprehensive survey of contemporary artist, Knowledge Bennett’s, most significant bodies of work. Select works compiled from seven different series (Obama Cowboy, Cojones, Marilyn Monroe (Good Girl Gone Bad), Share a Coke (Coke Bottle), Mao Trump, Orange is the New Black, and the Black Paintings) made between 2012 - 2019 are presented alongside works of art by Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman and Richard Serra. Bennett’s pastiched delivery often examines popular culture, America’s governmental institutions, as well as historic and contemporary socio-political contradictions. Through a minimalist aesthetic delivery, his large-scale silkscreen paintings are captivating and meticulously crafted. It is only until the viewer unearths the irony of the message transposed through the visual narrative, that the gravitas and true meaning are exposed. By inserting undertold historical storylines into his artistic practice, Bennett catalyzes his art making as an opportunity to raise social consciousness regarding societal infirmities.
Bennett’s deeply held commitment to truth seeking, intellectual enrichment and nontraditional learning guide his creative process. At a critical juncture in his personal and professional journey, his inspiration from modernist painters became amplified as he grappled with processing grief. In his newest series, “Black Paintings,” Bennett contemplates the universality of loss within the human experience. The evolution of Bennett’s work, both visually and conceptually, is an iterative process in which he asserts his personal mantra, “As an artist I reserve the right to grow.” The parable of Road to Damascus underscores this transformative experience—the epiphanous moment in which art became the vehicle by which he articulates his passion, purpose and trajectory as a man.
— Haili Francis, Curator
A video walkthrough with Museum Educator Tami Landis
Perspectives with Dr. Vernon Damani Johnson
A closer look at Bennett's "Mao Trump"