Bisa Bennett is a Toronto-based artist and multimedia designer. She received her formal train-ing in Toronto in both traditional Fine Arts and Multimedia Design. Over her long career as a painter, her work has been exhibited in Europe and North America in the major art galleries of New York, Toronto, Florence, Milan, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris. Her work was published in Internationale Kunst Heute 2016, New York Times magazine 2016, Artist Spectrum 2017 & 2010. Her solo exhibits include: 2019 Biennial International of Barcelona, Museum of Modern Art of Barcelona - Spain, 2017 InArte Werkkunst Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2017 Premio Internazionale Arte Milano, Milan, Italy, 2017 Elaine Fleck Gallery - Toronto, Canada, 2016 LE CARROUSEL DU LOUVRE PARIS - Paris, France , 2016 Contemporanei Uffizi - Firenze, Italy, 2016 International Prize Colosseo - Rome, Italy, 2011 Leonardo Galleries - Toronto, Canada, 2010 Twist Gallery - Toronto, Canada, 2010 Agora Galleries - NY, US, 2009 Leonardo Galleries - Toronto, Canada, 2009 Premio Firenze 2008 XXVI Edizione - Florence, Italy, 2008 Agora Gallery - NY, US, 2008 Amsterdam Whitney Gallery - NY, US, 2007 Agora Gallery - NY, US, 2005 ECC Art Gallery To-ronto - Canada, 2004 International Manhattan Gallery - NY, US, 2001 104 Gallery - Toronto, Canada, 1998 Canada Opera House - Toronto, Canada.
ARTisSpectrume Magazine New York
With sensitive, powerful brushstrokes and textured surfaces Bisa Bennett creates wonderfully
evocative works centred on the female form. Employing a minimal palette, the colours she uses are significant – the whites are not brilliant whites but the complex grey and cream shades of plastered walls, the blues deep azure smudges that pop from the canvas and her reds, the col-our of desire, of love and of passion, are deep almost to the rich brown of dried blood. This sophisticated colour range reflects the nature of the work itself. The moods Bennett creates are ambiguous, the figures twisted to create a tension that tells us they are aware, that our gaze has imperceptibly shifted something. Their gazes never meet ours; their bodies, written in space, are introverted and so a feeling of the vulnerability of these figures and perhaps of voyeurism on our part is developed. The play of light, which exists throughout the works, creates a space that is at once vast and intimate, the shadows bringing us even closer to the figures that emerge from them. Divorced form any outside context or background detail, there exists perfect soli-tude within these worlds, making our intrusion into the space appear all the more imposing.
ARTisSpectrume Magazine New York
Toronto-based artist Bisa Bennett explains that her approach to art is structured by light, how its
presence or absence helps us give meaning to our activities and surroundings. Her oil and acryl-ic
works all confirm this fundamental concern with light, though within at least two distinct styles.
Certain paintings appear washed out by a white light that reluctantly defines forms and spaces. Other works bask in deep red, registering the play of light in complementary tones of brown, yellow and orange. These two styles are not mutually exclusive – though some of Bennett’s paintings belong solely to one or the other category – but more often the pale whites and warm reds interact within a single canvas, conveying different qualities of light, space, texture and meaning. In canvases dominated by white light, the spaces and objects Bennett suggests are harder to perceive, their contours almost drowned out by reverberating luminosity. Pale lines barely differentiated from their washed-out surroundings involve the viewer in a kind of guess-work, sometimes yielding representational images, other times leading to abstraction. Else-where this strong white light lets Bennett emphasize shadows, which often become the clearest indicator of the shape on the canvas. In every case, her planes in white create a certain coldness and distance, making their objects seem removed, unattainable and flattened. This impression of detachment is reversed in the red regions of Bennett’s work. These tend to feature detailed depictions of objects from an extremely close perspective. Her objects are endowed with ex-treme three-dimensionality achieved through detailed shading and the very controlled registra-tion of luminosity. Rather than overwhelming brightness, these works admit a limited source of light. This adds tactility to the objects, which Bennett emphasizes further by layering and goug-ing her paint. The intensity of these shapes and objects is bolstered by their strong reds, which evoke at once passion and strength, but also temptation and mortality. Bennett’s most intri-guing works, then, combine and manipulate these two registers, exploring the dynamic ex-change of flatness and depth, coldness and warmth, ambiguity and clarity. As her artistic vocab-ulary continues to develop, this stylistic interplay will only increase in complexity and yield in-creasingly fascinating results.