Kingdom For A Horse, an exhibition of recent work by Providence, RI-based artists Ben & Aja Blanc opens Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Casa Perfect New York.
Known for creating lighting and objects that possess a stark, modern style infused with handcrafted technique and organic forms, with these new works the designers have departed from this foundation as they push the limits of their expressive formal language and rich material palette—utilizing everything from horse hair to clay, glass, and silver. Through the lens of vernacular objects (a table, a lamp, a mirror), the Blancs present a painterly, abstract collection that foregrounds the process of collaboration as a conversation between formal, material, emotional, and conceptual dualities.
The exhibition is often not a single point of view from Ben or Aja individually, but rather is an unresolved conversation. There are moments of tension and celebration, neither masculine nor feminine. It finds its home in the balance between the two, something simultaneously soft and strong. It both penetrates and recedes. The objects reflect, surround, push and share with the viewer/user an undeniably clear language of material, form, and process. The resulting works are celebrated holistically.
The title of the show comes from a line in Shakespere’s Richard III, when the protagonist proclaims, “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”—his final plea before death. Extrapolating from this chilling phrase, the duo has used the process of making their work to internally explore the ideas of beauty, value and worth. Thus, Kingdom For A Horse, presented as a series of furnishings that push materiality to its limit, is actually a contemplation on the capturing of beauty through a combined artistic identity. Between woven horsehair motifs, hand etched tabletops, and cantilevered lighting, the show is a meditation on the painstaking labor of craft and the elation of realizing the majesty of a work through its completion.
Kingdom For A Horse will be on view in Casa Perfect, New York through June 15th, 2022.