Barton Lidice Beneš

1942–2012

Barton Lidicé Beneš (1942-2012) was born in Westwood, New Jersey on November 16, 1942. Beneš first came to prominence during the 1980s with his whimsical constructions of shredded currency and later with his signature “museums,” gridded arrangements of relics from Ancient Egypt to Hollywood. He transformed fragments of our throwaway culture into art that sometimes addressed taboo subjects and often used unconventional materials including cremation ashes, shells, bodily fluids, currency and shredded money, relics, celebrity artifacts and found objects. Beneš was a first-generation veteran of the AIDS crisis and chronicled his own HIV+ status in Lethal Weapons, a series of works created with his own blood. This exhibit toured Europe in the 1990s and traveled to Lund, Sweden, where authorities intervened and demeaned installation be heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit in a hospital oven to make it “safe” for public viewing. These provocative pieces confront HIV/AIDS head-on, blending political activism, visual poetry and a wicked sense of humor, forcing viewers to face their fears of death and transmission. His work continues to serve as a symbol of resistance, engaging a new generation in the evolving conversation about art and AIDS.

At the forefront of New York’s burgeoning gay scene in the post-Stonewall era, Beneš was also featured in numerous documentaries about art, AIDS and gay history, including Lovett Productions’ Gay Sex in the 70s. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at The Cleveland Museum of Art; North Dakota Museum of Art; The Katonah Museum of Art; The New York Public Library; and Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Boras Konstmuseum, Sweden; and Old Town Hall, Prague. His work is in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Smithsonian, The U.S. Mint and North Dakota Museum of Art. Beneš is represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York.

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Education

1968 Beaux-Arts, Avignon, France

1960-61 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York

Solo Exhibitions

2015 Museology, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2012 The Thrill of the Hunt, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2011 Barton Lidice Benes: Archive, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2006-2007 Repositoria, Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, NY

2004 New Works by Barton Lidice Benes, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND

2003 Barton Benes: Curiosa, Galerie Gisèle Linder, Basel, Switzerland

2002 Barton Lidice Benes: Curiosa, Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, NY

Barton Lidice Benes: Souvenirs, Galleri Stefan Andersson, Umeå, Sweden

2000-2001 Reliquaries, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden.

Traveled to Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden; Museokeskus Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland (catalogue)

1999-2000 Reliquarium, Galeria 111, Porto, Portugal

Traveled to Galeria 111, Lisbon, Portugal.

1999 Barton Benes: Reliquaries, Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, NY

1998 Spirited Away, A Space, Toronto, Canada

Stefan Andersson Galleri, Umea, Sweden,.

1997 Lethal Weapons, Coke Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Lethal Weapons, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM

1996 Novomestska Radnice (New Town Hall), Prague, Czech Republic

1995 Galeria III, Libson, Portugal

1994 Lethal Weapons Galleri, Stefan Andersson, Umea, Sweden,

Lethal Weapons, Anders Tornberg Gallery, Lund, Sweden

Money Madness, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND

1993 Lethal Weapons, White Columns, New York, NY

Lethal Weapons, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND

1991 Hokin/Kaufinan Gallery, Chicago, IL

1990 Bjorn Olsson Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

1989 North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND

1988 Moneyworks, Barbara Fendrick Gallery, New York, NY

1987 Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1986 Moneyworks Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Misc, Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

Center for Contemporary Art, New Orleans, LA

Galleri Zero, Stockholm, Sweden

1985 Shrines, Hoshour Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Master of Disguise, Federal Reserve Board, Cleveland, OH

Strecker Gallery, Manhattan, KS

Graven Image, Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY

Master of Disguise, Federal Reserve Board, Dallas, TX

Semi-Precious, Craig Cornelius Gallery, New York, NY

Hokin/Kaufman Gallery, Chicago, IL

Requiem Anders, Tornberg Gallery, Lund, Sweden

1984 Brentwood Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Master of Disguise, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.

Moneyworks, Reynolds/Minor Gallery, Richmond, VA

Moneyworks, Netsky Gallery, Coral Gables, FL

1983 Souvenirs, Hoshour Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Money Matters, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY

1982 Moneyworks, Anders Tornberg Gallery, Lund, Sweden

Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY

Ruins and Artifacts, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

Futura Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

Shellworks, P.M. & Stein Gallery, New York, NY

Letters From Aunt Evelyn and Other Artifacts, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA

1981 Taylor Art, Dallas, TX

1980 Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY

Stampworks, Galleriet, Lund, Sweden.

1979 Ruins and Artifacts, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1978 Rubberstamp Works, Stempelplaats, Amsterdam, Holland.

1977 Bookworks, Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

Shell Shocked, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Selected Parts of Letters from My Aunt Evelyn, Bienville Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1976 Princeton Gallery of Fine Art, Princeton, NJ

1975 Letters From Aunt Evelyn, Center for Book Arts, New Yorks, NY

Sculptured Books, Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

Sculptured Books, David Stuart Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

1974 Sculptured Books, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

1972 Leather and Lace, Bienville Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1967 Edinburgh International Festival, Traverse Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Selected Collections

Agnelli Collection, Turin, Italy

Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico

AlixPartners, London

Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France

Bank of America, San Francisco, California

Bank of Montreal, Chicago, Illinois

Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin

Chase Manhattan Bank, New York

Chemical Bank, Wilmington, Delaware

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Coca-Cola Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia

Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware

Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.

General Electric Corporation, New York

Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina

Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, New York

3M Corporation, St. Paul, Minnesota

Malmo Museum, Malmo, Sweden

McGill University, Rare Book Library, Montreal, Canada

Merrill Lynch, Princeton, New Jersey

Morgan Stanley Corporation, Tokyo

Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin

Museum Of Modern Art, New York

National Gallery, Canberra, Australia

National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

New York Public Library, New York

North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Price Waterhouse Corporation, New York

Princeton University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Progressive Art Collection

Prudential Insurance, Newark, New Jersey

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami, Florida

Sol Lewitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut

University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Wachmeister Collection, Sweden

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