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LUCIE BENNETT | ’The Embrace’
December 8th 2021
Two figures entangled in a tender embrace, Lucie Bennett presents a new intimate portrayal of her female figures. Through meticulous graphite line-work the artist shows not just a romantic passion, but also the warmth and comfort of the embrace; a quiet and personal moment between two lovers. As one of only two screenprint editions which include a woman and a man - until three years ago an untold chapter in her practice - The Embrace stands out among the artist’s popular and characteristic silhouette works well-known for depicting solitary modelesque poses of high-spirited, strong and independent women.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
It must be the most popular embrace in the world. Showing the precise moment when the lips of two lovers meet, the magnificent sculpture created by the French artist, Auguste Rodin, stands silently in one of the galleries at Musée Rodin in Paris; only disturbed by the whispers of day-time visitors and the sound of feet moving along the squeaking light-wood herringbone parquet floor. Until they stop in awe. The sculpture, titled ‘The Kiss’, is roughly chiselled at the base and as the viewer’s gaze ascend, the intertwining embrace of a naked couple is smoothly carved into the marble above. It is bursting with emotions and for more than a century Rodin’s masterpiece has shocked, captivated, infatuated and aroused lovers of all ages. A contrast to Rodin, who was influenced by Dante, the fifteenth century Italian poet, Bennett’s interpretation of one of art history’s recurring motifs starts much closer to home.

A printed Allen Jones poster from the 1983 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London hanging in her parent’s study depicted a passionate embrace; all-encompassing with the man and woman tightly locked together, their bodies and clothes merging, making it impossible to tell where one starts and the other ends. Exuding energy and passion, Bennett was fascinated by the ambiguity of the imagery as well as its vibrant energy - and growing up with the poster by the British Pop-artist, she remembers it having a particular influence on her two works from the late autumn of 2018.

The artist’s sketches for the work on paper see a distinctive shift from her previous - and later - works that primarily have a focus on the female form. For the first time Bennett depicts a male figure, and notably, the male takes a central role; his face and body enveloping the woman so that she is partially obscured, and her face hidden from view. Yet, as is typical of Bennett’s works, The Embrace is not about the individuals depicted, but more the intimate moment they represent and the particular emotions they conjure for the viewer. As seen throughout her practice, Bennett is able to use distinctively simple freely drawn lines and a modest colour palette, to express complex emotional moments.
LUCIE BENNETT
The Embrace, 2018

Edition of 75
8 Artist Proof (APs)

72(w) x 73(h) cm
28.35(w) x 28.74(h) inches
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LUCIE BENNETT
The Embrace, 2018

Edition of 75
8 Artist Proof (APs)

72(w) x 73(h) cm
28.35(w) x 28.74(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Lucie Bennett (British)

The Embrace , 2018

72(w) x 73(h) cm
28.35(w) x 28.74(h) inches
Screenprint with gloss varnish.

Signed and numbered on front by the artist

Image size: 60 x 60cm / 23.6" x 23.6"
Edition of 75
PRICE
$ 965.00
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The Embrace, is based on a small pencil sketch by the artist, which was then perfected by Bennett and manually screenprinted onto paper. The beautifully subtle silvery-grey form the slick flowing lines of the figures, which in turn seem to melt into the warm grey background behind. Paring her palette right back to simple tones of grey echoes the graphite used in the initial pencil drawing as well as creating the soft billowy effect intended for this piece. Uniquely, the line-work has been given a metallic finish through the use of a super-wet varnish carefully applied in several layers to the line only. The resulting line-work has an aluminium-like texture that picks up the light at different angles as the viewer’s eyes move over the image - pulling areas in and out from the matt grey background - creating a shimmery optical illusion. This luscious reflective surface is resonant of Bennett’s gloss on aluminium paintings where the artist often leaves areas of the metal ground exposed.

Like Allen Jones’ poster, Bennett has captured an intimate embrace, her simple lines intertwining and forming a sensation of the two figures, blurring the distinction between his body and hers. However, in contrast to Jones’ image which has a distinct sense of urgency and fervour due to the vibrant and expressive colour palette, Bennett’s interpretation of the embrace is much more subtle.

The Embrace is a powder puff of intimacy, soft and comforting like a silk bed you might fall into…’.

There is a unique tenderness in the way the couple embrace each other - his eyes closed, and her face nuzzled into his shoulder, her hair loosely flowing behind her. They are in their own moment, unaware of anything else around them. Through the anonymity and simplicity of the way the figures are presented, the viewer has stumbled upon an intimate moment, allowing to impart personal memories and experiences onto this work. It feels safe and familiar - or as Bennett describes - like coming home.

Testimony to a refreshing and short exploration by the artist during the second half of 2018, The Embrace is a rare glimpse into an unseen side of the Bennett’s practice which resulted in only two works; the other being The Sleeping Lovers. The print edition of 75 was released in an exclusive collaboration between Lucie Bennett and Eyestorm, and is signed, titled and numbered on the front.

You can find more details about The Embrace, and see available print editions byLucie Bennett, on her artist page here.
 
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Only 1 left at this price
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In the most graceful of poses, Lucie Bennett shows what a quiet moment looks like; peaceful and detached from the world around. Over time, the artist’s female subjects have grown from sexy young seductresses with an appetite for life, into women with more life-experience, exposing new sides to their individuality where strength does not derive entirely from an extroverted and cool façade. Drawn in the minimal style she is known for - and supported by a calm and tranquil palette - Duck Feather Blue and Softest Cinnamon is a departure from the earlier works, reassuring that beauty and self-confidence also come from within.
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