Amy Bennett is an established American painter who is represented by Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, Miles McEnery Gallery in NYC, and Galleri Magnus Karlsson in Stockholm.
Amy Bennett was born on Sunday, June 26, 1977 (age 44 years; as of 2021), in Portland, Oregon. She grew up in Maine, the northeastern-most state in the US. During her childhood, she used to play with the 1970’s Fisher Price playset, which developed her interest in making miniature models and led her to become a painter. In an interview, she said,
I played with 1970’s Fisher Price town/people components: house, school, barn, garage, etc. And I role played with Barbies. The way I was playing with 3D worlds as a kid is the same way I make art now.”
In 1999, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hartford, Connecticut, and in 2002, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York Academy of Art. Miles McEnery Gallery Later, she pursued additional courses in art at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford University in England, Pratt Institute in New York, NY The New York Studio School in New York, and NY University of Georgia Art School in Cortona in Italy. Amy Bennett’s website
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Newborn Gray
She is married and has two sons.
After pursuing her career as a painter for a while in Brooklyn, she moved to Cold Spring, meanwhile working in Beacon, NY. Her work centers around the themes like transition, aging, isolation, and loss. The New York-based artist is intrigued by the fragility of relationships and people’s awkwardness in trying to coexist and relate to one another. First, Bennett creates miniature 3D models using cardboard, wood, Styrofoam, plastic, model railroad miniatures, etc., which serve as a still for her detailed narrative paintings. Then, she modifies the miniature 3D models according to her imagination to create different scenes for her painting. Her artwork ‘Against the Wall’ from the collection Neighbors (2006), shows a man pressing a young woman against a wall, holding her high above the floor. A sense of fleeting voyeurism is seen in the paintings of this collection; Voyeurism refers to the practice of obtaining sexual pleasure from watching others naked or engaged in sexual activity. Bennett’s work reflected life in upstate New York, which had a sense of isolation within populated neighborhoods.
In 2015, she became a recipient of The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In the same year, she received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. In 2016, she created a miniature 3D model of a landscape showcasing the modification of a rural area into a bustling town. Using the 3D model she created a series of paintings ‘Small Changes Every Day,’ which were displayed at Richard Heller Gallery. Exhibiting different stages of a town’s growth, the collection explored the changing relationship of humans with the environment over time.
On 28 October 2016, Eleanor Heartney, a New York-based art critic and author of books and articles about contemporary art, converted the paintings of the collection into a book, which was published by Black Dog Publishing Ltd. Thereafter, Bennett was awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. NYFA Artist Fellowship grants $7,000 to artists in fifteen different disciplines. She is a recipient of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, which awards rent-free non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residencies in DUMBO, Brooklyn. She is also the recipient of multiple prestigious fellowships and scholarships including Deutsche Bank Fellowship, Smack Mellon Studio Program, Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Prince of Wales Scholarship to Normandy, France, and Research Fellowship- New York Academy of Art. Bennett’s 2019 collection of paintings titled ‘Nuclear Family’ showcased vulnerabilities and anxieties of parenthood and marriage. Intimate moments between figures gave glimpses of other lives in domestic interiors through a window-view.
In 2021, she illustrated the cover of the novel Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
- Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting (2011)
- American Academy of Arts & Letters Purchase Award (2020)
- Felicia C. Miller Award for Artistic Excellence (1999)
- Barbara Podorowsky Memorial Award for Excellence in Painting(1999)
- Bennett’s model-based practice can also be found in the works of popular photographers James Casebere, Thomas Demand, and Laurie Simmonds, and painter Malcolm Morley.
- In 2011, she undertook a public commission to create a $100,000 mosaic mural entitled “Heydays,” which was featured in the waiting area of the 86th St. R subway station in Bay Ridge, New York. The finishing touch on a $13.8 million renovation of the 95-year-old station, the 45-foot artwork was inspired by the neighborhood’s great old houses. To create the masterpiece, she read various books and toured the neighborhood on foot. During one of those walks, she came across the idea of painting fictional Bay Ridge homes, inspired by real houses from the neighborhood. The mural showcased four idealized versions of the 19th-century mansions that still fringed the neighborhood’s leafy streets near New York Harbor.