Maura Bendett: Transport
rdfa gallery, los angeles
through May 21, 2022
Written by Eve Wood
Maura Bendett’s solo show at RDFA feels very much like walking into a candy store when you’re six years old and standing at the counter trying hard to “pick” out one favorite candy from amongst the smorgasbord of sugary delights! The experience can be overwhelming, yet certainly worth the wait. For years now Maura Bendett has been mining a territory of quirky irreverence, creating sculptural works that are tantalizing, delicate and visually complex.
For this, her most recent effort, Bendett has pulled out all the stops. Her work has always been whimsical and here she takes this whimsy one step further with what she calls her DNA sculptures. Made from bronze, acrylic and LED lights, the added element of illumination further emphasizes the simple majesty of these works, the titles of which reference specific eye colors.
Materially, Bendett has also branched out, creating colorful visual associations with all manner of materials including acrylic, paper, wire, gold leaf, wool, wood, on large-scale Plexiglas surfaces. Works like “Transport,” which is the title of the show, are striking in the sheer force of its materiality — highly saturated, lush, and magical, like a cornucopia of decadent fruits we are forbidden to eat.
Over the years Bendett has perfected her own unique and particular visual vernacular to include even more emphatically activated spaces that seethe and writhe, breaking apart even as they come together. These works aim to please even as they create visual tensions between a variety of materials, and the choice to “build” out her vision onto large sheets of Plexiglas allows for many more unexpected associations that feel uniquely alive.