Ben Street writes about the work of painter Kiera Bennett for an exhibition at Charlie Smith Gallery, London, on view from April 5 -27, 2013.
Street begins: "Instantly recognisable in Kiera Bennett’s paintings are the trappings and tropes of early modernism: the feathered lines of early cubism/late Cézanne, the vibrating geometry of Boccioni or Carrá, the pulsing colours and tabletop domesticity of early Matisse. There are two things that, despite these allusions, Bennett’s paintings aren’t. One, they’re not exercises in art historical nostalgia; two, they’re not sarcastic citations of early modernism, as has been commonplace in recent art. Instead, they hover between reverence and critique, refusing to settle on a fixed position, and in doing so embody a certain attitude about the art of the past: that it’s always there, called back in any act of painting, whether you like it or not. Bennett’s paintings can’t quite decide how they feel about that. The equivocation is all."