Chicago-based artist Bethany Collins manipulates language in symbolic and provocative ways. In drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures, and artist’s books, she incorporates fractured or illegible phrases made by labor intensive acts of rendering and erasure. Her work addresses the personal and the political, filtered through conditions of race, power, and histories of violence.

This exhibition includes Colorblind Dictionary (2013-2014), made by Collins methodically erasing all references to color in a Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language; and recent works on paper in which fields of rubbed-out words help to highlight those that remain, suggesting abraded skin and urgent utterances.

Collins’ work is included in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; Birmingham Museum of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; among others.

Installation views, Bethany Collins:Benediction, University of Kentucky Art Museum:

Installation view, “Bethany Collins:Benediction,” University of Kentucky Art Museum, September 14 – December 8, 2019. Photo: Alan Rideout.



Installation view, “Bethany Collins:Benediction,” University of Kentucky Art Museum, September 14 – December 8, 2019. Photo: Alan Rideout.



Installation view, “Bethany Collins:Benediction,” University of Kentucky Art Museum, September 14 – December 8, 2019. Photo: Alan Rideout.



Installation view, “Bethany Collins:Benediction,” University of Kentucky Art Museum, September 14 – December 8, 2019. Photo: Alan Rideout.



Installation view, “Bethany Collins:Benediction,” University of Kentucky Art Museum, September 14 – December 8, 2019. Photo: Alan Rideout.