Gallery 1 at Western Exhibitions, BEN STONE will present new
sculptures in a variety of media that transform two-dimensional
graphics into compelling and uncanny three-dimensional forms.
His interest in aberrant human behavior, especially in the context
of sports and familial conflicts, continues alongside new forays
in abstraction. The show opens with a free public reception
on SATURDAY, December 14, 2013 from 5 to 8pm and runs through
January 25, 2014.
Ben Stone delves into the psychology of low self-esteem. With
each mysterious and humorous object, he ponders the condition
of unnoticed beauty. One source of inspiration is a crude interpretation
of a baseball player used for a dog's chew toy. But in Stone’s
vision, the two comically distorted figures become permanent
combatants, locked in a poetic struggle. Another bizarre sculpture
takes its inspiration and form from a mass-produced low relief
of a Spanish galleon, which he has realized in 3D as a representation
of ship at sail across the gallery floor.
One of the show's centerpieces is a trophy-like sculpture of
a hunting dog that has treed a raccoon, sitting on plain card
table decorated in cheap party-store fringe. A set of children's
bedsheets from the 1980's depicting E.T., the Extra Terrestrial,
provide inspiration for a low-relief sculpture sprawling across
the gallery walls.
The most recent sculpture of the group is an abstraction that
came to him in a dream, a vision that showed him making "the
lamest sculpture ever." Luckily (or not) Stone was able
to visualize the form for this show.
This is Ben Stone’s third solo show at Western Exhibitions.
His last, in 2010, was reviewed in Art
in America by Susan Sondgrass who wrote that "Stone
assumes the role of interlocutor, a champion of an art earnest
in all its intentions regardless of its humble origins".
His first show at Western Exhibitions, in 2007, was reviewed
In a cover story on Stone in New
City in 2010, writer Pedro Vélez called Stone’s
life-size realist sculpture depicting two drunken baseballs
fans attacking a rival team’s first base coach “a
fitting homage to our nation’s desperate attempt to cope
with the unknown variants brought on by the economic debacle”.
Stone's work was recently included in "Snail
Salon" curated by Adrianne Rubenstein at Regina Rex
in Queens, NY and he has work in “A
Study in Midwest Appropriation" curated by Michelle
Grabner at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, up through January
12, 2014. His work has been shown at the Mattress Factory in
Pittsburgh, DiverseWorks in Houston and in Chicago at Suitable,
Ten-in-One and Gallery 400. Stone’s seven-foot tall, 250
pound robot, Nuptron 4000, performed his wedding ceremony in
2004 and is currently moonlighting as the stand-up comedian,
Bernie Circuits, recently seen at Club Nutz at both the Museum
of Contemporary Art and the NEXT Art Fair in Chicago. Stone
received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and
his MFA from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He lives in
Berwyn and maintains a studio in Chicago.