Staff Pick: Sadie Benning's 'Pain Thing' at the Wex

Andy Downing
Untitled by Sadie Benning

Already named one of “16 LGBTQ art shows worth traveling for in early 2020” by NBC News, Sadie Benning’s “Pain Thing,” which opens at the Wexner Center on Saturday, Feb. 1, features 63 small wood panels grouped into 19 sequences. Photo transparencies and paint have been applied to each panel, along with layers of resin, creating pieces that explore “the relationship between flatness and dimension, just as it raises question of narrative and memory,” as noted in an accompanying press release.

The Milwaukee-born Benning has a history with the Wex that dates to the early 1990s, when their earliest, primarily video-based work was shown in the space. Benning was also the recipient of a 2003 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award and presented their debut solo exhibition, “Suspended Animation,” in the facility’s galleries in 2007.

In tandem with “Pain Thing,” the Wex is also hosting a trio of musical performances described as “in the spirit of Le Tigre,” of which Benning was a founding member (they departed the band in 2001). These include didi (6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6), La Neve (March 12) and Empath (April 23).

The Wexner Center for the Arts

Feb. 1-April 26

1871 N. High St., Campus

Sadie Benning's “Pain Thing”