“Through the use of varied constructed and deconstructed media, my work explores our inherent human tendency to mark and brand ourselves and each other. My work also investigates our desire to mark and document our environment.”
From a young age, Benito Rangel de Maria was set on a path that interweaved disparate cultural and geographical boundaries. While he was born in Michoacán, Mexico in 1970, Benito grew up in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago bordered by pockets of diverse ethnic cultures that ultimately influenced his outlook on the world.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from Lake Forest College in Chicago, IL, with a concentration in printmaking with a focus on monotypes. Although he experimented with various media while earning his degree, Benito always returned to working with paper and ink. During that time, Benito’s work was strongly influenced by the powerful yet intimate works on paper of American artist Helen Frankenthaler. He also had the opportunity to study abroad, initially in Paris advancing his fluency in French and knowledge of Art History, followed with an internship at Sotheby’s in Madrid. After graduation, he was invited to intern at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. Daily practices of studying the museum’s permanent collection in order to support his various docent duties surrounded him with an incomparable breath of knowledge and a top-notch community of international colleagues and institutions. It was here where Benito formed an inspirational connection with the work of Rufino Tamayo and Joseph Cornell. Tamayo’s Heavenly Bodies presented pre-Columbian imagery with European Modernism within the unlimited boundaries of the universe. Simultaneously, Benito was juxtaposing Tamayo’s work with that of Joseph Cornell, whose box constructions housed concepts of travel and voyage. For Benito, Cornell created a complete universe within the physical limitations of his basement studio.
From his treasured time in Venice, Benito followed a westward call to Lugano, Switzerland. It was there that he joined the ARCH Foundation where he coordinated conservation and restoration projects including efforts in St. Petersburg, Russia and Dubrovnik, Croatia. While the scholars and artifacts of those projects provided another priceless experience, Benito’s mind was fully engaged in ideas of cross contemporary cultures as he traveled from one border to another. The notions of physical boundaries highlighted memories of the borders he and his family had crossed years ago. His desire to further explore these issues artistically brought him back to the United States, landing a new home in Seattle, Washington. Determined to support his studio practice while keeping a foot in the broader art world, Benito founded Monarch Contemporary, a fine art gallery and studio that functioned as an outlet for his artistic and curatorial endeavors. Here his studio practice launched forward with his first solo show at Gallery 110 in Seattle and group shows from Portland to Miami. Recently, his work has been part of juried group exhibitions at the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Benito currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Born in Michoacán, Mexico 1970
Currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA
1994 Bachelor of Arts Degree, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL
1994 Studentship at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Italy
1995-1998 Conservation/Restoration Program Coordinator at ARCH Foundation, Lugano, Switzerland
2009-2013 Director and Curator, Monarch Contemporary, Seattle, WA
ART FAIRS, RESIDENCIES, & AWARDS
2017 Artist-in-Residency, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA
2017 Artist-in-Residency, Monte Azul Contemporary Art, Costa Rica
2016 ART ASPEN Zener Schon Contemporary Art, Aspen, CO
2015 ART MARKET San Francisco, Zener Schon Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
2014 Fall National Juried Exhibition, Juror Curator of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Betti-Sue Hertz, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Marin MOCA, Novato, CA
2014 Small Works Exhibit, Juried Exhibition, Juror Critic Alan Bamberger, Art Works Downtown Gallery, San Rafael, CA
2014 ArtSlant Showcase Winner Round #5 of the 2014 Showcase competition cycle, Mixed Media
2008 My Space, Juried Group Exhibition, Juror Suvan Geer, SCA Project Gallery, Pomona, CA
2016 Reconstructed Abstractions, 2 person Exhibition, ZenerSchon Contemporary Art, Mill Valley, CA
2015 Benito Rangel de Maria : Navigating Boundaries, Solo Exhibition, ZenerSchon Contemporary Art, Mill Valley, CA
2015 Terra Infirma, Juried Group Exhibition, Juror Chandra Cerrito, GearBox Gallery, Oakland, CA
2015 Latino Art Now! Invitational Group Exhibition, MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), San Jose, CA
2015 Cheer and Charity Group Exhibition, ZenerSchon Contemporary Art, Mill Valley, CA
2014 Snap to Grid, Group Exhibition, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Inside Out, Juried Exhibition, Verum Ultimum Gallery, Portland, OR
2013 ACE 2013, Juried Group Exhibition, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
2013 (re)form, Solo Show, Monarch Contemporary, Palm Springs, CA
2012 Refraction, Solo Show, Monarch Contemporary, Palm Springs, CA
2010 Constant Motion, Monarch Contemporary, Seattle, WA
2008 Microcosm, Solo Show, Monarch Studio, Seattle, WA
2008 “And the Winner Is…”, Group Show, Sonnenshein Gallery, Lake Forest, IL
2008 Immigration USA, Group Show, NSCC Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
2008 Emerging Artists, Group Show, D’Adamo Woltz Gallery, Seattle, WA
2007 MECHANICA, Solo Show, Gallery 110, Seattle, FL
2007 Group Show, Blackfish Gallery, Portland, OR
2007 Cheer, Group Show, Gallery 110, Seattle, WA
2007 Interstate 5, Group Show, Portland Art Center, Portland, OR
2007 Pulp.2, Group Show, Gallery 110, Seattle, WA
2007 Ibero American Art, Ibero American International Gallery, Miami, FL
2006 Brighter!, Juried Group Show, Gallery 110, Seattle, WA
2006 Pulp, Group Show, Gallery 110, Seattle, WA
2003 Fingerhut Gallery of Edina, Group Show, Minneapolis, MN
2003 Gallery Artists Group Show, Visual Arts, Minneapolis, MN
2002 Fingerhut Gallery of Edina, Group Show, Minneapolis, MN
1998 Latin American Art, Sonnenshein Gallery, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL
– Fusion Exhibition Catalog, 2015, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
– PUNTO i COMA, Chicago, IL
Feb 2014 Issue, Interview by Soydeth Avila “TRIBE”.
– ACE 2013 Exhibition Catalog, Palm Springs Art Museum
November 2013, Palm Springs, CA
– PREVIEW Gallery Guide Magazine, Seattle, WA
Jan/Feb 2010 Issue, Review by Allyn Cantor of “Constant Motion” installation, page 86.
– Ibero American International Magazine, Miami, FL
Fall 2007 Issue, Review of “Microcosm” series, page 18.
– Ibero American International Magazine, Miami, FL
Spring 2007 Issue, Review of current work in Contemporary Art section, page 31.
– OneShot 2006, Visual Codec, Seattle, WA
Publication included “AutoMotion” Series among Top 100 artworks chosen for this juried book.