Christian Benefiel_Image for Press_Factions of people Certain of what they believe is Oppression03.18.17 – 04.08.17


Developing an Argument features new work by Maryland sculptor Christian Benefiel investigating an argument as the application of persuasion and resistance.

Benefiel’s sculptures address the interaction of elements in systems. His work is driven by the way that a social construct is dependent on balance and tension, both physically and visually. In the end, the argument itself is the construction, the product, and the notion that an issue is more complex than opinion. Through physical structures constructed from networks of wooden and found material forced against itself, Benefiel visualizes the human desire to selectively manipulate the existing environment for purpose or comfort. The form of the works plays on a psychology of species, the connection to materials and places beyond the civilized or enlightened world, and the role and method of individual pieces that make up the larger ideas of arguments and dialogue.

Image credit: Christian Benefiel, Factions of people Certain of what they believe is Oppression, 2017. Wood, dimensions variable (approx. 36”x 40”x 48”)


Christian Benefiel is a Maryland-based artist focusing on sculpture and installation. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions both nationally and in Europe. Recent shows include Structural Tissue at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD, Sea of Tranquility, Ocean of Doubt at VisArts in Rockville, MD, Indirect Effect at AREA 405 in Baltimore, MD, and the Foggy Bottom Sculpture Biennial in Washington, DC. His sculptures can be found in public parks and schools in Kentucky, Minnesota, Maryland, DC, and Finland. Internationally, Benefiel’s work has been included in exhibitions in Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and England. He is the recipient of the Hamiltonian Fellowship, MSAC Individual Artist Grant, and a US Fulbright Grant to Helsinki, Finland. He teaches sculpture at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.


Reception: Friday, March 24, 6-8pm (free and open to the public) 

Luce Foundation Center Artist TalkSunday, March 26, 1:30pm (free and open to the public), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Third Floor

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