ben woodeson




Educated at Glasgow School of Art, artist Ben Woodeson lives and works in London, England. His work has been shown in galleries, institutions and spaces throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Japan. He has been selected for exhibition by a range of international curators including Simon Faithful, Kristoffer Gansing, Ann Jones, Andres Mengs, Ben Roberts, Mike Stubbs, Virginia Torrente, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Mark Wallinger and others. He is the grandson of the artist Jack Bilbo.

Text by David Barrett, of Art Monthly: Ben Woodeson is, at heart, concerned with traditionally modernist sculptural ideas, exploring and highlighting the physical properties of the materials that he works with. But Woodeson takes modernism’s ‘truth to materials’ maxim to a logical extreme by making the viewer aware not only of the materiality of the sculptural objects but also of the viewer’s very own physical properties: the softness of our flesh is never more apparent than when threatened by the edge of a tensioned sheet of unframed glass; the openness of our nervous system when in proximity to an electric charge; the skull beneath the skin when confronted by a rapidly swinging cobblestone. If a trend in recent art has been to view the artwork as an interaction not between viewer and object but rather between multiple participants – relational aesthetics’ intersubjective understanding of art – Woodeson’s work might instead be described as intrasubjective; making the viewer acutely aware of their own corporeality as the work forces them to rely on their own sense of proprioception. To achieve this, Woodson utilises a – sometimes literal – high-wire act, walking that narrow line that defines the limit of his materials, stressing them with potential energy until the weakest link in a molecular chain gives up and the sculpture’s sense of self is ruptured.