Michelle Benoit

About Michelle Benoit

The work of Michelle Benoit layers transparent and opaque materials. Color combinations are symbolic. Memory is encoded in hue. Structure is often revealed as image through the redirection of light and its absence. The objects signify an idealized geologic core sample, where time and sequence are rearranged. 

This body of work is exhibited internationally including Scope Art Fair, Basel Switzerland, Lucca Art Fair, Lucca Italy, and the Art in America exhibition at the Satellite Show, Scope Miami Beach. Michelle is represented by Gebert Contemporary, Scottsdale Arizona, Morotti Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy, Mackenzie Fine Arts, New York New York, and the Thomas Punzmann Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany.

Benoit was the recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship at the University of Iowa, the Merit Fellowship in Painting from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Berkshire Taconic’s A.R.T. Grant, as well as consecutive Special Talent Awards from Rhode Island College. Her work is in the collections of the the Swain School of Design now merged with University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, The University of Iowa Museum and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s permanent collection in addition to numerous private collections. She received a BFA from Rhode Island College, MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. While studying in Iowa, Benoit was strongly influenced during an internship at the State Office of the Archeologist.

 Born in Bridgewater Massachusetts, she currently lives and works with her husband, an architect and their three dogs, two cats and occasional foster. Together they are restoring an 18th century farmhouse in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Artist’s Statement

This body of work is a tangible remembering. A collection of recollection through washes of paint on reclaimed bulletproof plastic and wood. Color through anamnesis has been excavated and distilled physically and metaphysically. The  objects are isolated moments, layered through color and light. Experience is reorganized and funneled through a reductive approach. Sequence is reconfigured, sometimes time all at once. The content is ingrained in color, process and often the alchemical reaction. The components and systems have been fluid over the years but the intent has remained constant, to embed meaning with time, visually, to see what it looks like. 

Influences for me are mostly drawn from memory and the natural world where I have found evidence of physical moments in time. I collect, record and categorize these visual signifiers with various media such as glue, tracings, wallpaper and photographs. The color from this body of work have all been extracted from the walls of my family home. Excised layers through paint, plaster and wallpaper, each color may represent a time long past or current. 

The repurposed materials have their own history. The compositions are composed in relation with the size of the fragments that I collect. Memory is sifted through color and embedded in transparency, revealing process, seams, light and its absence as image. Infrastructures are exposed and concealed at times. The color combinations are coded and symbolic of the past, the present, place, and all that that might encompass. I think of the results as a contemporary geologic core sample, a very personal, yet collective landscape.