Alexandria Mento Untitled (Butterfly), 2023 oil on canvas 12 x 14 in. (30.5 x 35.6 cm.)

Alexandria Mento
Untitled (Butterfly), 2023
oil on canvas
12 x 14 in. (30.5 x 35.6 cm.)

Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker

February 28-March 27, 2024

Alexander Berggruen is pleased to present Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker. This exhibition will open Wednesday, February 28, 2024 with a 5-7 pm reception at the gallery (1018 Madison Avenue, Floor 3, New York, NY).

The artists in this group show examine how nature, technology, memory, and material transformation affect mental processing. Highlighting how perception can be influenced by context and length of engagement, Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, and Ben Walker document their investigations as they patiently labor over their paintings and sculptures.

Boats are aflame in Lyndsey Marko’s paintings. Entropic smoke erupts from a point on the water in a V-shape. Playfully set against colorful bands of a lambent sky, a shimmering sea, and a strip of sand, the imagined landscapes verge on abstraction. With their dazzling drama, Marko’s paintings entrance a viewer, implicating them as a witness. Beholding such an event under ambiguous circumstances, one wonders what may have caused it, what will happen, and who has been involved. Born and raised in Florida, Marko continually explores her personal experience of seeing a boat on fire as a motif, challenging the unreliable quality of memory.

Combining observation, memory, and dreams, Dominic Musa paints eerie surreal scenes that oscillate between fact and fiction. With paint he makes himself, Musa constructs allegories through a process of iteration and subtraction. Ghostly forms of earlier versions of the composition linger, resulting in logic-defying environments. Hallucinatory elements in his 2023 painting Eternal include a warping tree with eyes, a figure peering out from between the branches of the tree, and painted ruptures in the composition. In contrast to the human figure reduced to bones and organs in the foreground, the tree’s anthropomorphic qualities call attention to the longevity of a tree’s lifespan. Just as trees hold visual memories through marks on their wood and in the direction and circumference of their branches, Musa’s paintings carry memories and myths in layers of mark making.

Also painting from the interstitial ambiguities of memory is Ben Walker. With few photos of his childhood, certain pieces of his early memories have lingered in his mind, but the edges are loose and ripe for supplementation with hazy, inaccurate details. To help fill in the gaps, Walker refers to British culture, TV programs, and films, especially 1970’s and 1980’s educational programs for schools, children’s films, and public information films. These hauntological scenes of figures exist in an often undefined environment where features and details are represented by nebulous swathes of color. Speaking about his work, Walker stated that the paintings are, “impressions of a half remembered, misremembered, or imagined past, existing on the edges of memory and nostalgia where ideas of folklore, the unknown, the wyrd, science fiction, and the supernatural are meshed together.”

Installation view of Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker (February 28-March 27, 2024) at Alexander Berggruen, NY.

Alexandria Mento paints hyperrealistic unnatural nature that obscures objects hidden within the painting. Finding the still lives veiled in her work demands a slow pace of looking and an awareness of being physically present, contrary to the common contemporary breakneck pace and the regularity of experiencing life in virtual spaces. As she sources images from datasets fed to computers for machine learning, Mento contemplates the differences in human and computer visual processing. While humans may recognize the hidden still life, image recognition in a computer is not yet advanced enough to detect it. Through the adept employment of the technology of painting in Untitled (Butterfly), Mento has hidden a butterfly among the shrubs. Her painting Untitled (Still Life with Skull) hides a skull amidst a farm field of tulips. With respect to Dutch Vanitas, this concealed memento mori engages a viewer to contemplate their existence within, in the artist’s words, “our collective relationship to our real and virtual environments.”

Another artist ruminating on how technology affects society’s experience of reality and nature is Drew Bennett. Painting from photos he took himself or screenshots of photos friends have shared, Bennett has noticed that in recent history, many more landscape images are now vertical to fill the constraints of a phone screen. Although examples can be found from Japanese art and select French paintings in the 1880’s, it is a recent phenomenon that landscapes are now predominantly captured vertically on a global scale. Yet, Bennett also delights in this format as a spiritual opportunity to contemplate the ether, as his landscape paintings are primarily a devotional practice to nature. On his studio wall is the quote: “The landscape reveals itself from within the tree.” The artist is receptive to natural material, both in the subjects he paints and in the wood panels he paints on, working with the wood grain. In his 2024 painting Emerge, for instance, a figure bends down just below a knot in the wood grain, making way for the wood’s memory of a fallen branch. Painted in a vast spectrum of color, Bennett reveres the fact that, in his words, “everything is in flux, and everything’s value or worth is contextual”.

Through a practice of patience and acceptance, the sculptor Laird Gough embraces the imperfection inherent in humanity and nature. After throwing clay on the wheel, she distorts the vessel, disrupting the symmetry traditionally associated with wheel-thrown ceramics. Where discourse around pottery’s curvature often draws connections to the curves of the human form, the asymmetry in Gough’s work takes this into a fresh, compassionate realm. She maintains a bodily quality to her ceramics while manipulating them with twists, dents, and implants to symbolically portray imperfection. The artist sometimes joins two vessels together, creating what she calls “lovers”—these too are anthropomorphic as they resemble hips and legs. Among the elements she adds are braids, intentionally broken pieces of other ceramics she created, and fragments of prohibition-era glass liquor bottles, which introduce considered and improvisatory color. The artist breathes beauty and new life into historical and deliberately broken objects.

Press Release by Kirsten Cave

Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker will run at Alexander Berggruen (1018 Madison Avenue, Floor 3) from February 28-March 27, 2024. The exhibition’s preview is available upon request. For all inquiries, please contact the gallery at

Installation view of Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker (February 28-March 27, 2024) at Alexander Berggruen, NY.

About the Artists

Drew Bennett (b. 1981, Chicago, IL) received a BA in Fine Arts from Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO. His work has been included in exhibitions at BOZOMAG, Los Angeles, CA; Halsey McKay, East Hampton, NY; Chandran Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco, CA; and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, among others. Bennett’s work is included in the collections of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA and Meta Open Arts Collection. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

Laird Gough (b. 1981, Richmond, VA) received a Bachelor of Arts in History, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. She has studied art history at Instituto Lorenzo De’Medici in Florence, IT and ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY. Gough held a recent solo show at Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, Virginia. Her work has been exhibited at Object & Thing, East Hampton, NY; R & Company/Pitkin Projects, Aspen, CO; and Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY. Gough lives and works in New York, NY and Charlottesville, VA.

Lyndsey Marko (b. 1990, Tampa, FL) received an MFA from Yale University in 2019 and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her work has been shown in recent exhibitions at International Waters, Brooklyn, NY; Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Mollie White Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Foyer LA, Los Angeles, CA; New Release, New York, NY; and The Hole, New York, NY. Marko will hold a forthcoming solo show at Gattopardo, Los Angeles, CA. Her work and accompanying interviews have been published in the Nashville Review and INSIDE / WITHIN. Marko lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Alexandria Mento (b. 1989, Bethlehem, PA) received an MFA in painting at Yale University, New Haven, CT and a BFA in sculpture and painting from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been exhibited at Jack Siebert Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Next to Nothing, New York, NY; Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles, CA; ArtSpace, New Haven, CT; and Baby Blue Gallery, Chicago, IL, among others. She was awarded the Ralph Mayer Prize in 2018. Mento lives and works in Queens, NY.

Dominic Musa (b. 1989, Poughkeepsie, NY) received an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI and a BFA from School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. He was an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME and was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant. Recent solo shows of Musa’s work have been held at de boer, Los Angeles, CA; Taymour Grahne Projects, London, UK; Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal, CA; and Y2K Group, New York, NY. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Ben Walker (b. 1974, Chester, UK) studied at Turps Art School, London, UK; received an MA Fine Art from Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK; and received a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. His work has been exhibited at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Sto Lat, Brooklyn, NY; One Wall Gallery, Eugene, OR; Walsall Art Gallery, Walsall, UK; Terrace Gallery, London, UK; Hastings Contemporary, Hastings, UK; and Leeds Art Gallery, South London Gallery, UK, among many others. Walker was awarded the Jack Hill Painting Prize. The artist lives and works in Kent, UK.

Ben Walker Early Experiences (Loss), 2023 oil on linen 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm.)

Ben Walker
Pioneer, 2023
oil on linen
36 x 47 1/2 in. (91.4 x 120.7 cm.)

Today, the Upper East Side is exploding with established and emerging dealers offering the best and newest names in contemporary art, as well as the most coveted figures from generations past. From blue-chip titans to newcomers with eyes for spotting talent, here are four top Upper East Side galleries to visit this spring.

Launched in 2019, Alexander Berggruen has quickly made a name for itself with a robust program that spans 20th-century and contemporary art. With an eye for emerging talent, Alexander Berggruen has mounted significant exhibitions of rising stars of the industry, including Sholto BlissettHulda Guzmán, and Brittney Leeanne Williams. To bring in the spring season, the gallery is staging a group show featuring artists who explore the effects that technology, nature, interpersonal relationships, and material transformations have on mental processes. On view through March 27, the show includes paintings and sculptures by Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, and Ben Walker. Following this thought-provoking presentation is a solo show of landscape paintings by Cara Nahaul entitled Tender Island, which opens April 10 and will be on view until May 8.

Installation view of Drew Bennett, Laird Gough, Lyndsey Marko, Alexandria Mento, Dominic Musa, Ben Walker (February 28-March 27, 2024) at Alexander Berggruen, NY.
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