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Barton Lidice Benes at Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Stockholm 27/5-23/6 2010

Thursday 27th of May, Galleri Andersson/Sandström opens the exhibition Cohones with new works by the American artist Barton Lidice Benes. Benes is known to the Swedish art audience from the notorious and much talked-of exhibition Lethal Weapons in 1994, when works containing the artist’s HIV positive blood were on display. Cohones shows Benes’ sphere-shaped collages.

Barton Lidice Benes’ collages have received attention throughout the world. With materials such as shredded bills, HIV positive blood and ashes from cremated friends, Benes’ art has aroused enthusiasm as well as aversion.

The exhibition Lethal Weapons was shown in Sweden in 1994, displaying objects containing the artist’s HIV positive blood. The exhibition became a scandal as well as a success, much talked-of not only due to the somewhat controversial contents, but also on account of its ironic, life-embracing and personal approach. Among blood and disease, the frail beauty of life could be found. Two years later Benes participated in Umedalen Skulptur with a huge hour-glass containing the ashes of two friends having died from AIDS. The friends had asked Benes to create something from their ashes after their passing.

However, Benes’ oeuvre does not only deal with illness and blight; he is also known for his sly and witty collages. The exhibition Souvenirs (2002) contained souvenirs from different countries, built by the respective country’s bills. In the artist’s curiosa cabinets called Museums, relics from the saints of our days can be found, such as Larry Hagman’s gallstones, Sylvester Stallone’s urine or pieces of shattered glass form the car that brought Princess Diana to her end. In his collages, Benes mocks the celebrity cult of today, but the work also has a significantly darker side to them. Death is kept at a distance through the collecting of more or less trifling objects, which will live on long after the death of the owner.

In Benes’ art, an almost Dadaistic sense of humor is contrasted with complex questions of life and death. Vanity and decay stand out even more clearly against the humoristic backdrop. By showcasing disease and the lower sides of life, Benes unveils cultural taboos. Through Benes’ interpretation, the revolting, the forsaken and the rejected is transformed into curiosities, art and beauty. In Cohones, rejected everyday objects have been gathered and organized, saved and put together to create new forms, generating new meaning.

Barton Lidice Benes was born in Westwood, New Jersey and lives in New York. Benes has Czech ancestry; the middle name Lidice originates from the village with the same name. The year of Benes’ birth, 1942, the village was wiped out by the Nazis. Benes was given the name Lidice by his father so that the obliteration would not be complete. Consequently, destruction and death have been recurring themes in his son’s oeuvre.

About the exhibition
Opening: Thursday 27 May 5-8 pm
Duration: 27 May-23 June
Opening hours: Wed-Fri 12-18, Sat-Sun 12-16


  • Konst


  • art
  • galleri andersson/sandström
  • barton lidice benes
  • collage


  • Stockholm

Galleri Andersson Sandström grundades 1980 och drivs och ägs idag av Stefan Andersson och Sara Sandström Nilsson. Galleriet fokuserar på internationell samtida konst och representerar både väletablerade konstnärer samt unga stjärnskott. Verksamhetens tyngdpunkt ligger i utomhusskulptur och offentliga verk.


Galleri Andersson Sandström was founded in 1980 and is today owned and operated by Stefan Andersson and Sara Sandström Nilsson. The gallery focuses on international contemporary art and represents both well-established names and young emerging artists. The gallery has a special interest in outdoor sculpture and public commissions.


Klara Rudebeck

Presskontakt Assistent Director Galleri Andersson/Sandström Communication +468324990