Barton Lidice Benes
American [1942 -]
This bowl is by contemporary artist Barton Lidice Benes (1942 -). Typical of Benes late 1970’s work, the bowl is composed of hundreds of sea shells in a matrix of his own making. Known as a master of “found” elements in his work, the shells are arranged in a pleasing pattern. The “wings” on the face of the central image are tiny iridescent shells. The iconography comes from tombstones and momento mori images of colonial times. The bowl, which is 5” high, 8 ½” long and 14 ¾” wide is in great condition with the exception of two partially broken shells.
Barton Lidice Benes (1942 -) is a contemporary artist almost impossible to categorize other than that he is a conceptual artist. Among other things he makes boxes with Plexiglas fronts containing found objects presented in a droll humorous manner. One of his sources was correspondence from his aunt Evelyn, an eccentric retired widow in Florida, who sent him up to several times a week 50 to 60 page letters which he turned into art. This 1970’s box “Letters from aunt Evelyn” has copies of his aunt’s correspondence written in various colored inks on the inside of 20 egg shells. The box is 17” x 17" and 2 1/2" deep.