Work

unnamed-4

Happy as Toads in a Thunderstorm

An Englishman in Short

You Daft Sod

Penurious

After Nyman

Merchant

Electioneering

Chant and Be Happy

Meat Market

Allegory for an English Garden

Me

 

Text

 

Born:

Manchester, 1995

Education:  

1st Class Degree, BA (Hons) Painting and Printmaking

Glasgow School of Art

MFA Fine Art (Painting)

Slade School of Art

2018-Present

Exhibitions:

Group Shows:

Engendering Men's Health with Grayson Perry, Institute of Child Health, London, 2019

Cartoons and Cereal, Offshoot Gallery, London, 2019

Pulling Teeth, ASC Gallery, London, 2019

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018, Touring Exhibition, 2018

RSA New Contemporaries 2018, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 2018

Steady State?, King St Studios, Lancaster, 2018

Best of Degree Show, Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow, 2017

Best of Scottish Degree Shows, Resonate Arts House, Alloa, 2017

Art<100, King St Studios, Lancaster, 2017

Serving Suggestion, The Glue Factory, Glasgow, 2016

2 Years Licked, The Grace and Clarke Fyfe Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art, 2015

 

Solo Shows:

 Louis Bennett: Three Paintings, The Storey, Lancaster, 2017

Bloomsbury Festival Art Prize 2019, Senate House, October 2019

 

My practice is deeply rooted in a European figurative painting tradition, and is concerned with presenting non-linear narratives informed by critical reflections on contemporary society. My work is particularly informed by narrative history painting from the 19th century onwards, and the tradition of British satirical cartoons that emerged in the 1700s, but undertakes a kaleidoscopic reconfiguration of these genres, bringing them into dialogue with the modernist avant-garde, pop art, and remix culture. I am also influenced by the contemporary polemics of academics like David Graeber and Mark Greif, whose writing has impacted upon both my thinking and my choices of source imagery. I believe in art’s ability to convey an important political message, and have been inspired by the ways in which artists like R.B. Kitaj and Neo Rauch maintain, through a bustle of influences, imagery and text, a dynamic way of representing the complexity of the world while also placing a critical frame around it. I am particularly interested in how Europe’s imperial and colonial histories continue to shape contemporary Europe, and I think that visual art can be particularly effective in revealing the way in which the present is haunted by the past, and contemporary culture is populated with unexorcised ghosts.  

My paintings develop their own narrative as I paint, each element acquiring a specific symbolic importance that nonetheless remains open to interpretation. I work mainly in oils, embracing traditional figurative painting tropes, but my practice is shaped by a fascination with collage, and its capacity to expand the imaginative scope of painting and transform the meaning of an image through the process of juxtaposition. My work draws on a large and varied archive of antiquated print media, and this imagery is recycled through a contemporary lens to render out-dated imagery newly relevant. I reference contemporary politics, mocking leaders in the tradition of James Gillray or Ronald Searle, while anachronistic pop culture references provide another layer of nostalgic symbolism, suggestive of the different ways in which politics appropriates and repurposes authentic and often oppositional cultural voices for its own ends. All of these layers of nostalgia are underpinned by a fascination with the surreal, nightmarishly bureaucratic quality of Franz Kafka’s fiction, inspiring a series of images that feel like scenes from the nostalgic fever dreams of a post-imperial nation that is sliding off the edge of a continent, and slipping back into the past.

 

Contact

For Sales and Enquiries: 

louis.bennett0@gmail.com

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Electioneering