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LUCIE BENNETT | 'THE EMBRACE' | NEW PRINT EDITION
December 21st 2018
The new print edition by contemporary artist Lucie Bennett represents a continuation of the artist’s recent focus on more intimate portrayals of her figures alongside a softer colour palette. Here, two figures are entangled in an intimate and soft embrace. This is a quiet and personal moment between two lovers, and Bennett is able to present not just their romantic passion, but also the warmth and comfort of their embrace. The simplicity of the imagery and colours forms the illusion of the two figures as completely intertwined - blurring the distinctions between his body and hers.
by Tessa Yee
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
The image feels very intimate - a subtle glimpse into a very personal moment, with Bennett’s confident flowing lines and unique light reflections on the surface of her work, inviting us to explore further.

For those who follow Lucie Bennett’s practice, her new work The Embrace sees a distinctive shift from her previous works that have always focused on the female form. Here, for the first time Bennett depicts a male figure in her work, and what’s more, the male takes a central role, his face and body enveloping the woman so that she is partially obscured, her face hidden from view. Yet, as is typical of Bennett’s works, The Embrace is not about the individuals being depicted, but more the intimate moment they represent and the particular emotions they conjure for the viewer. As seen in previous works, Bennett is able to use distinctively simple line-work and a modest colour palette, to somehow express complex emotional moments.

The Embrace is based on a small pencil sketch by the artist, and for this print edition Bennett has chosen a beautifully subtle silvery-grey to 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 also 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 your eyes move over the image - pulling areas in and out from the matt grey background - creating a shimmery dream-like quality. This luscious reflective surface is resonant of Bennett’s gloss on aluminium paintings where the artist often leaves areas of the metal ground exposed.
Lucie Bennett

The Embrace , 2018

71(w) x 72(h) cm
27.95(w) x 28.35(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
$ 830.00
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Bennett describes an Allen Jones poster from the 1983 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition as having a particular influence on this work. Growing up with this poster in her parent’s study, she remembers how entrancing it was. Jones’ painting 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.

Like Jones’ poster, Bennett has captured an intimate embrace, her simple lines intertwining the two central figures, so they form almost as one. However, in contrast to Jones’ image which has a distinct sense of urgency and fervour, Bennett’s interpretation of the embrace is much more subtle. She describes her work as like ‘…a powder puff of intimacy, soft and comforting like a silk bed you might fall into…’.

There is certainly 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. As viewers, we feel like we have stumbled upon an intimate moment - the anonymity and simplicity of the way the figures are presented, allowing us to impart our own memories and experiences onto this work. It feels safe and familiar - or as Bennett describes - like coming home.

The new print edition by Lucie Bennett is available for £720.00 and you can find more images of The Embrace on the artwork page here.
 
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