international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Arden Bendler Browning
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

pages 57-58


Neatly organized frozen moments are not real. Experience is messy: overlapping reflections, memories clouding the present muddled by competing background noises. The urban environment is a vast sea of fluctuating boundaries arguing claim to the demarcation of space as "wild," "inhabited," "private," "public," "forbidden," and "open." I make sprawling wall-sized and room-sized paintings on Tyvek as a direct response to this environment.

My imagery is derived from actual and virtual meandering throughout fringe neighborhoods within Philadelphia. Google maps‚ street views counter my real experiences of place by allowing me to jump through time and space. My fleeting impressions of spaces correlate with the inherent distortions of Google's low resolution snapshots of fluctuating, blurred spaces. Similar to the experience of locating one's orientation by coming to the surface when snorkeling, I often find myself lost and need to zoom out of a street view to an aerial view for navigation. No matter how closely I zoom in on a space, the truest details are inaccessible, similar to the gap between public and private space in actual experience.

When I am driving, I am focused on the road ahead and only have a vague vision of the peripheral world that whizzes by on the side. When I am walking with my young twin daughters, my attention is directed at the minutiae that they find so wondrous (often a bit of trash), while also darting ahead half a block to check on the faster, more energetic child, and periodically looking behind for the more attentive, slower paced child. I have chosen to live in a city precisely because it means that I access (and bypass) a rich variety of neighborhoods and environments each day, via the different levels of attention of my role as driver, passenger in car or on train, or pedestrian. I am acutely aware of the fact that by pursuing one path to get from one point to another, I am traversing a forest with multiple perspectives and paths.

Cities have attracted me for their density, activity, variety, their layered contradictions; there is never enough to give me a definite understanding of my immediate environment.



born: 1975, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Tyler School of Art, MFA, 2003
Sydney College of the Arts, MSA, 2000
Carnegie Mellon University, BFA, 1997

selected awards/honors

Winner, Wind Challenge Exhibition Series at Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
The Viewing Program, The Drawing Center, NY, 2010

selected publications

Access Atlanta, "Context shapes message of pieces in Whitespace show," by Catherine Fox for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 8 , 2010
New American Painting #81, juror: George Kinghorn, Director, University of Maine Museum of Art, 2009
2008 International Drawing Annual, Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE, 2011
Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
AHN/VHS Gallery, Philadelphia, PA,  2009
Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA, 2009

selected group shows

Seepages, Whitespace, Atlanta, GA, 2010
On the Rise, The Art Gallery at City Hall, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
Art of the State, The State Museum, Harrisburg, PA, 2009
Crossing Lines, The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE, 2009


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