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American Gothic

Benjamin Entner
American Gothic
Taffeta, wood, electronic components
Installed 2012-2014
First floor, ticketing

There is a territory in which drawing and sculpture intersect that is fertile ground for many artists. With a keen awareness of art history – and a desire to both honor and parody some of its most hallowed subjects – Benjamin Entner makes renderings of people who echo great works of art. These drawings are then inflated, giving them an imposing three dimensional presence and movement that add character to the individuals and their peculiar situation.

In Grant Wood’s iconic painting, American Gothic, a man and a woman stand in front of a typical Midwestern farmhouse that features a European gothic-style window. These incongruities are central to the work, and viewers ever since have seen something of themselves – something uniquely American – in the austere, hard-working pair. The figures in Benjamin Entner’s American Gothic are also easy to identify with. These travelers wait, suspended in their anticipation of the happy diversions that lie at the end of their journey.