Steve DiBenedetto

 ( 1958, Bronx, New York, USA)

Born 1958 in the Bronx, New York
Lives and works in New York City

Education
1980 Bachelors of Fine Arts, Parsons School of Design
For Steve DiBenedetto, the process of making a single painting is combative and can last many years. He continually reacts to "elements somewhat recklessly thrown out onto the surface," intent on finding "unpredictable combinations, a spontaneous combustion of sorts," as he describes. Fittingly, the otherworldly, science fiction-infused environments he depicts seem to be on the verge of implosion or destruction by outside forces. Known for their multiple layers of paint, DiBenedetto's hallucinogenic scenes of industrial waste and Baroque architecture recall Surrealist landscapes, but his palette of decay renders them more menacing. Certain images-octopi, helicopters, ferris wheels, to name but a few-recur throughout his oil paintings, and more recently gouaches and watercolors, forming what one critic described as "tortuous mindscapes" held together by webs and tendrils.




Steve DiBenedetto
by Dike Blair
from BOMB, Spring 2003

At that point one arrives in a place that defies description, a space that has a feeling of being underground, or somehow insulated and domed. In Joyce's Finnegans Wake, such a place is called the "merry go raum," from the German word raum, for "space." The room is actually going around, and in that space one feels like a child, though one has come out somewhere in eternity.
-Terence McKenna, "Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness"

Steve DiBenedetto forces a lot of perspectives into his pictures. As he puts it, "I like to put in too many skies." There are patches of sky, and you can see panoramas, cross sections, core samples, micros and macros, but you can't read it all at the same time. This is not the systematized simultaneity of Cubism; this is a tortuous mindscape. You get sucked in, tangled and confused; you withdraw to get your bearings and then reenter the quagmire and beat a different path through DiBenedetto's shit. (He mixes his paints almost to that dead brown-gray point that painting instructors warn students against. And often, next to one of these near-fecal passages, he'll smear some out-of-the-tube primaries.) These worlds are made of circles, spirals and ellipses; they're held together by webs, tendrils, scratches, and drips; and they're packed uncomfortably into a rectangle.

The things-helicopters, octopuses, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds-that churn these perspectives are also evocative as images. They summon from deep memory childhood's fascinations and fears. They are like Apocalypse Now directed by Terence McKenna, or Something Wicked This Way Comes by Jacques Cousteau. Kind of. Even though DiBenedetto has used this same set of images in almost every recent work, they never coalesce into easy narratives. They function a little like Guston's cigarettes and shoe soles: they're important, but one is only sure why while viewing the picture.
DiBenedetto works on multiple paintings over a number of months, or sometimes years. They get built up and wiped out. Every inch of the canvas gets stroked, diddled, and scraped. On a recent studio visit, I was surprised to see that the underpainting on some of these newer canvases was relatively serene and balanced. And in fact, along with turbulence, there is a lot of grace to be found within the finished paintings. His octopus's tentacles, his arabesques and runes all share a sinuous, serpentine elegance.

Though very much of the same spirit, his recent drawings charm where the paintings challenge. They forgo the paintings' creepy skin; instead the paper is covered with obsessive, clustered, flowing one-eighth-inch pencil strokes. The smaller scale and clarity of the drawings makes it easier to read things like an octopus's body morphing into an inorganic chromium vortex, or the speed blur of a chopper blade generating intricate lattices with peepholes into different realities. The drawings would fit easily into the Prinzhorn Collection, but for their understated hipness and formal savvy. From them I understand what DiBenedetto means when he says he's interested in making "cerebral folk art."

When I first saw DiBenedetto's paintings in the late '80s, my immediate (and obvious) response was "They look like bad trips." While the work remains undeniably psychedelic, drugs were never really the subject. I realize now that what DiBenedetto has always been interested in portraying is consciousness. He mingles images of the world with cellular and synaptic structures, making a kind of brain doily. Ultimately, the compelling discomfort that his work insists on is the confusion it creates between what is out there (the world) and what's in here (me). It's incredibly difficult to induce this sensation with art (of course, drugs do do it well), but DiBenedetto's unsettling art succeeds.
Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Feed the Meter, Wandhaff
September 23 - December 16, 2017


Expositions personnelles

2017
Steve DiBenedetto: Novelty Mapping Picnic, Cherry and Martin (2732 Space), Los Angeles, USA

2016
Steve DiBenedetto: Pre-Linguistic Granola, Half Gallery, New York, USA
Steve DiBenedetto: Evidence of Everything, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA

2015
Mile High Psychiatry, Derek Eller Gallery (in cooperation with David Nolan Gallery), New York, USA

2014
Konstructshuns!, Half Gallery, New York, USA

2010
Who Wants to Know?, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

2009
Central Connecticut State University Art Gallery, New Britain, Connecticut, USA

2008
Edge Dwelling, University Art Museum, SUNY Albany, New York, USA
Chaoticus, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

2007
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2005
David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Codex Maximus, Mario Diacono, Boston, USA

2003
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2002
Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA

2001
Baumgartner Gallery, New York, USA

2000
Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany
Baumgartner Gallery, New York, USA
1998
Marella Arte Contemporanea, Sarnico, Italy

1997
Reali Arte Contemporanea, Brescia, Italy

1995
Marella Arte Contemporanea, Sarnico, Italy
Lauren Wittels Gallery, New York, USA

1993
Art & Public, Genève, Switzerland
Galerie Jürgen Becker, Hambourg, Germany
Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
Martina Detterer Gallery, Francfort, Germany

1991
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
Galerie Claire Burrus, Paris, France
Le Consortium, Dijon, France

1990
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York

1989
Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York

1988
Cable Gallery, New York
T'Venster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1987
Cable Gallery, New York


Expositions de groupe

2017
CarlJackieSteveMichelle, Helena Anrather, New York, USA

2016
Karmic, Life on Mars Gallery, New York, USA
drawing ROOM, curated byMarkus Dochantschi, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

2015
The Guston Effect, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, USA
Ceremonial Exhibition, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA
Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA
From Now On In, Brian Morris Gallery and Buddy Warren, Inc., New York, USA
Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, USA

2014
TOSSED, organisée par Jennifer Coates et Rachel Schmidhofer, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, New York, USA
Ellen Berkenblit, Steve Dibenedetto, Philip Hanson, Barry Le Va, Albert Oehlen, Alexander Ross, Rebecca Shore, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
This One's Optimistic: Pincushion, commissaire d'expositon: Cary Smith, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Haven, USA
If You're Accidentally Not Included, Don't Worry About It, curated byPeter Saul, Zürcher Studio, New York, USA

2013
About UFOs, curated byEneas Capalbo, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Steve DiBenedetto & Terry Winters, The National Exemplar, New York, USA
Dollars & Sense: Steve DiBenedetto, Lucas Reiner, Amy Yoes, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, USA
Terra Incognita: Unknown Landscapes, The A.D. Gallery, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, USA
Swing State, curated byJane Kim, 119 Hester Street, New York, USA

2012
Rockslide Sky, Center Gallery at Fordham University, New York, USA
The Beatles, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

2011
Situation New York, Art & Public, Genève, Switzerland
Sick!, Misc., New York, USA

2010
Inquiring Eyes: Greensboro Collects Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, USA
Summer Group Show, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Painting and Sculpture: Foundation for Contemporary Arts Benefit Exhibition, Lehmann Maupin, New York, USA
Wall-to-Wall, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Townie, curated byCarl D'Alvia and Michael Foley, Foley Gallery, New York, USA

2009
Morphological Mutiny, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Jr. and Sons, curated byJoe Bradley, Zach Feuer, New York, USA
Just what is it that makes today's painting so different, so appealing?, Gering & Lopez, New York, USA
Portrait de l'artiste en motocycliste, MAGASIN-Centre National d'art Contemporain de Grenoble, France
Slough, curated bySteve DiBenedetto, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Champagne & Baloney, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, USA
Palms, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, USA
Morphological Mutiny, Nolan Judin Berlin; David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
Form and Story: Narration in Recent Painting, University of Richmond Museum, Richmond, USA

2008
Jekyll Island, curated byMax Henry and Erik Parker, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, USA
Friends and Family, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA
Disarming Matter, Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York, USA
It's Gouache & Gouache Only, Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, USA

2007
Mr. President, University Art Museum, SUNY Albany, New York, USA
Block Party Part II, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Neointegrity, curated byKeith Mayerson, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA
Summer Group Show, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

2006
Block Party: An Exhibition of Drawings, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Hybridity/Ambivalence, Amos Eno Gallery, New York, USA
Nightmares of Summer, Marvelli Gallery, New York, USA
Parallel Visions II: Outsider and Insider Art Today, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, USA
Hot Pics/06, The Katonah Museum of Art, New York, USA
Twice Drawn, curated byIan Berry et Jack Shear, Skidmore College, New York, USA
Ele-mental, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

2005
Remote Viewing, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Curvaceous, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, USA
The Hills Have Eyes, curated byGene Moreno, Ingalls and Associates, Miami, USA
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2004
Beat the Reaper!, curated byJoe Bradley, Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, USA
Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, curated byBob Nickas and Steve Lafreniere, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, USA
Earthly Delights, MassArt, Boston, USA
Colored Pencil, K.S. Art, New York, USA
Drawing Out of the Void, Vestry Arts, New York, USA
Endless Love, D.C. Moore Gallery, New York, USA

2003
Invitational, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA
Giverny, Salon 94, New York, USA
Ballpoint Inklings, K.S. Art, New York, USA
The New Topography, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, USA
Drawings, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA
Unforeseen, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, USA
Invitational Exhibition, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA
20th Year Anniversary Show, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York, USA
Drawings, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA

2002
Steve DiBenedetto, Spencer Sweeney, Joe Zucker, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York, USA
Ballpoint Inklings, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, USA
On Paper, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Einfach Kunst, Sammlung Rolf Ricke, Neuen Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
Transcendent & Unrepentant, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA

2001
Best of Season, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA
Desire, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim, Germany

2000
Painting Zero Degree, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Bloomfield Hills, USA

1999
Post-Hypnotic, University Galleries, Normal, USA
Kill All Lies, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, USA
Etre Different, Galerie Demarez, Giverny, France
LOAF, curated bySteve DiBenedetto, Baumgartner Gallery, New York, USA
Another Country, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, USA

1998
Le Consortium Collection, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Paper View, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, USA
Tableaux aux murs, oeuvres de la collection du Consortium, FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France

1997
In-form, Bravin Post Lee Gallery, New York, USA
Gnarleyland, Feature, New York, USA

1996
Works on Paper, Angela Lange, New York, USA

1995
Sieben New Yorker Maler, Kunstverein Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Altered States, Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, USA
Now Is the Time, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
Pittura/Immedia, Graz, Austria

1994
Inaugural Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Genève, Switzerland
Art & Public Gallery, Genève, Switzerland
Disfunction USA, Arthur Roger Gallery, Nouvelle-Orleans, USA

1993
Sailing to Byzantium, with Disenchantment, Sergio Tossi Arte Contemporanea, Prato
Gambit, Leo Camin Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Moving, Foundation de Appel, Amsterdam, Holland
Acquisitions récentes, FRAC Nord-Pas-De-Calais, Lille, France
What's Wrong With This Picture, Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
Cartographies Imaginaires, Musee d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
Nachtschattengewaschse-The Nightshade Family, Museum Friedericianum, Kassel, Germany
L'astrazione Ridefinita, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Saint Marin, Saint Marin
Live in Your Head, Heilegenkreuzerhof, Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Wein, Vienne, Austria

1992
The Other Side, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
Slow Art, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, USA
Kinder! Macht Neues!, Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany
1968, Le Consortium, Dijon, France

1991
Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
Le Consortium Collection, Château Doiron, Dijon, France
The Painted Desert, Galerie Renos Xippas, Paris, France

1990
Red, Galerie Isy Brachot, Brussels, Belgium
Gambler, curated byDamien Hirst, Carl Freedman and Billie Sellman, Building One, Londres, Royaume-Uni
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA

1989
A Climate of Site, Galerie Barbara Farber, Amsterdam, Holland
Drawings, Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York, USA
Lorence-Monk Gallery, New York, USA
Une Autre Affaire, Le Consortium, Dijon, France
Chaos, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA
DiBenedetto, McCaslin, Mosset, Noland, Parrino, Staehle, Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York, USA

1988
Primary Structures, Gilbert Brownstone & Co., Paris, France
Mutations, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Galerie Pierre Huber, Genève, Switzerland
A Drawing Show, Cable Gallery, New York, USA
Dernière station Avant l'autoroute, Le Consortium, Dijon, France
Works Concepts Processes Situations Information, Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, Germany
Art Against AIDS, Cable Gallery, New York, USA

1987
John Good Gallery, New York, USA
The Art of the Real, Galerie Pierre Huber, Genève, Switzerland
Infotainment, Selby Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland
Galerie Montenay, Paris, France

1986
Modern Longings, The Kitchen, New York, USA
Nature Morte Gallery, New York, USA

1984
Semi(op)topics, International With Monument, New York, USA
Steve Dibenedetto, Recents drawings and paintings, published by David Nolan gallery, 2006

Painting overtakes pixels in Aldrich Museum exhibition

The New York Times - Susan Hodara

February 18, 2016


Goings on about town : Art

The New Yorker - The New Yorker

February 01, 2014


Painter Steve DeBenedetto on chaos and overload

The Wild - Kate Messinger

February 01, 2014


Feed the Meter Vol. 2

Feed the Meter Vol. 2

December 12, 2017