HELL DAISY // Kim Benson // 10.3.2020 – 11.8.2020



Kim BensonHELL DAISY, a solo art exhibition of new paintings by the Minneapolis artist opening October 3, 2020 at HAIR+NAILS. HELL DAISY is 15 new paintings installed in all three gallery spaces at HAIR+NAILS. These abstract works of oil paint on canvas reveal Benson’s imagination, research, deft hand, and daily dedication over two years. Skeptical of “brush in hand” painting, Benson employs a dizzying array of tools and techniques to build up, remove, build up, remove paint en route to solving the puzzle of each canvas. Paint is squished through lace, scraped off with sanders, nudged with trowels and knives, corralled by automotive masking tape and homemade stencils. Kim’s process obsesses with disorder, decay, beauty, transformation. The trippy swirls and chunky, gooey, lacy topography of Benson’s paintings are gorgeously depicted in the video work “Molt” made in collaboration with artist Lee Noble that will premiere as part of this exhibition. The film gives a special glimpse into Kim’s South Minneapolis home studio, evidencing an artist who eats-breathes-sleeps painting. Kim Benson’s work was previously exhibited by HAIR+NAILS at NADA INVITATIONAL in Chicago (2019), HAIR+NAILS at 9 Herkimer in Brooklyn (2019) and in RELIEF—THREE FRESH APPROACHES TO BUILDING SURFACE: Rachel Collier/Kim Benson/Sheila Wagner (2018) at the HAIR+NAILS gallery in the Corcoran Neighborhood of Minneapolis. In the artist’s words: “My process has become a type of chaos management. I strive to create a painting that plays with the viewer’s comprehension of space, form, and illusion by complicating the visual pathways. I am a materialist who is continually fascinated with the processes of painting. I utilize a myriad of different techniques including but not limited to brushing, spraying, sanding, scraping, rubbing and printing. Along with the mechanics I am equally interested in the history of painting. Currently, I am looking back to the 17th century Dutch still-life genre, in particular the paintings by Maria van Oosterwijck, for both their array of metaphors and formal configurations, and even further back to the Etruscan tomb paintings from 4th century BCE for their rich and distressed surfaces suggesting ideas of loss, decay, and transformation. By referencing these sources and delving deep into process, I consider my own conceptual concerns in order to build my personal painting language. Although these themes might at first seem disparate, they are deep rooted, and offer an endless array of problems to discover.” -Kim Benson Artist bio: Kim Benson currently lives in Minneapolis, MN, spending most of her time painting in her studio. She received her MFA from the University of WI-Madison and a BFA from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, MN. Her paintings have been exhibited widely in both solo and group shows, including MANA Contemporary in Chicago, IL, Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI, Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, Bockley Gallery and HAIR+NAILS in Minneapolis, MN and Brooklyn, NY. She has attended residencies at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO, McCanna House through the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, ND, Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY, and Soap Factory Emerging Artist Program in Minneapolis, MN. She is an adjunct professor of art at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Upcoming Residency planned for 2021 at La Macina di San Cresci in Tuscany, Italy. Kim Benson is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Project support for this exhibition has been provided by the Visual Arts Fund, awarded to HAIR+NAILS, administered by Midway Contemporary Art with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.