Benjamin Hollingsworth: Grace

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Benjamin Hollingsworth: Grace, a show of new work from this emerging young artist. This exhibition will be displayed at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park from November 17th until December 30th. The opening reception is from 5pm until 7pm on Saturday, November 17th. Hollingsworth will also be hosting a lecture at the gallery December 2nd at 3p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited. The exhibition has been curated by Susan Thompson.

For Grace, Hollingsworth engages with the everyday symbols that invest this city with its unique character. In a city steeped in history, certain events, sites, and objects become invested with meaning. Hollingsworth thoughtfully examines distinctive local symbols, deconstructing them and re-presenting them for new consideration. By incorporating these cultural signifiers, Hollingsworth creates a shared ground for connection with his audience; within the exhibition, local audiences will no doubt encounter familiar references from their own quotidian experience of Charleston. The artist is interested in how histories are constructed, and even more so in how they are transmitted and received by new generations. His visual language incorporates his own experiences and observations as well as symbols of American popular culture. Hollingsworth takes a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates large-scale painting, photography, and sculptural installation. He is highly interested in the possibilities of his materials, constantly experimenting with new processes of fabrication and often utilizing tromp-l’oeil effects, as in a group of sculptures in which common objects are painstakingly recreated in polyester foams and resins. The artist’s work addresses layered meanings in such everyday objects, as seen in the shaped shadowy absences of his silhouette paintings.

About the Artist

Benjamin Hollingsworth (b. 1982, Concord, North Carolina) grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and earned a BA from the College of Charleston. In 2008, he moved to New York City, where he began unofficially auditing courses at Pratt College in Brooklyn. Attending these lectures and spending long hours in public libraries, Hollingsworth cobbled together an education in art and art history. Hollingsworth has had solo exhibitions of his work at The Workshop Project, Miami; Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Charleston; and Andaz Hotel, New York, in conjunction with GenArt. Hollingsworth has been featured in group shows at Rebekah Jacob Gallery, Charleston; West Two Gallery, London; and the 2010 exhibition P.Y.T. Pretty Young Things inNew York.

About the Curator

Susan Thompson works as a Curatorial Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Thompson holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Masters degree from Columbia University. She has previously held positions as Research Assistant at Columbia University and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2009, she was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation’s Hilla Rebay Curatorial Travel Fellowship. In her time with the Guggenheim, Thompson has contributed essays to the exhibition catalogues Maurizio Cattelan: All, and The Luminous Interval. Thompson’s previous independent curatorial projects include Spatial Non-fictions at the ISE Cultural Foundation, New York (2009), and The Chinese Encyclopedia at Cuchifritos,Essex StreetMarket,New York (2010).

Special thanks to Black Tap Coffee, Detterbeck Wealth Management, Viln Collective, 10 Contenstudios,AmericanCollegeof the Building Arts, CBFB Tablescapes, Vapor Apparel, and Southern Lumber and Millwork Core for their support of this exhibition.