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KAREN BENNICKE (Danish, b. 1943)

Spatial Collage IV, 2021


12" H x 22.5" W x 8.5" D

Karen Bennicke (b. 1943, Denmark) is known for her sculptures composed of complex geometric figures, which superimpose cartographic overviews of city life, constructed landscapes, and architectural diagrams onto three-dimensional ceramic forms. Her systematic process translates data points describing urban and architectural space into a complex network of carvings, excavations, and crisscrossing topographies. City streets, urban parks, traffic routes, and subway lines are layered on top of one another, compressed into an afterimage of the forces that formed them. Ultimately, Bennicke’s slab-formed sculptures develop a quality of artifacts or fossils. While each work arises from the implementation of a set of rules, the end result is enigmatic and magnetic, charged with arcane symbolism. The earth-toned terracotta and monochrome geometries prompt philosophical rumination on the city as a set of contested relations; her sculptures suggest that, obscured by time, traffic, and constant dynamism, our environment is ultimately unknowable, constantly in a process of formation and sedimentation.

Bennicke's work is featured in many museum public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art in Gifu, the Nationalmuseum of Stockholm, and the Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen. She is the recipient of the Thorvald Bindesboll Medal from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and a Lifelong Achievement Award from the Danish Arts Foundation.

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