City Maps: Erik Benson, Janice Caswell, Alex Lopez, Ruth Root

City Maps: Erik Benson, Janice Caswell, Alex Lopez, Ruth Root

Artpace Exhibitions

About City Maps: Erik Benson, Janice Caswell, Alex Lopez, Ruth Root

Erik Benson’s panoramic paintings suggest an urban space where architecture displaces those who use it. Focusing on the way we move through parks and streets, Benson hints at how those spaces exist in memory, and proposes that architecture gives life to us just as we bring life to it. Benson’s work has been exhibited at RARE, New York, NY (2003), Finesilver / FYI, San Antonio, TX (2003), and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY (2002).

Janice Caswell connects swarms of colored dots with drawn lines—tracing human (and sometimes animal) movements to create delicate, bird’s eye views of how urban space is traversed. Her slight gestures reveal how people use cities in ways that defy careful structural planning. Caswell’s work has been shown at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (2003), Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris, France (2004), and Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY (2003).

Alex Lopez’s abstract “snapshots” of suburban infrastructure call attention to zones that are frequently marginalized in portrayals of the city (parking lots, roadways, rivers, streetlights)—mapping what life looks like outside the city center. Lopez has been included in exhibitions at the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2003), the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX (2002), and McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, TX (1999).

Ruth Root’s irregularly shaped paintings resemble the jigsawed districts of many growing cities—bulging here and poking out there. These works bear a strong resemblance to urban mapmaking and are reminders of the segmented way we think about, and experience, urban space. Root’s exhibitions include and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy (2000), Seattle Art Museum, WA (2003, 2002), and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (2000).