Residency Unlimited


Exhibition | Jan 25 - Feb 18 2017


Liliya Lifanova, Bull Whip Drawing 2, (3 sessions), detail (2008), paper and safety pins © Liliya Lifanova


January 25 – February 18, 2017

Keren Benbenisty • Liliya Lifanova • Brett Swenson
Curated by Melinda Wang

Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, NY, NY 10002
Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 25, 6–8pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12–6pm, and by appointment

Equity Gallery is pleased to announce Push/Strike/Resist, a group exhibition in collaboration with Residency Unlimited, featuring the works of Keren Benbenisty, Liliya Lifanova and Brett Swenson. The exhibition will be on view from January 25 through February 18, 2017, with a public opening reception on January 25, 6-8pm.

The three artists explore how we confront boundaries – physical, natural, social and political – and examine different approaches to negotiating tension and resistance. Keren Benbenisty investigates how nature both undermines and overtakes man-made physical and political borders in the Mediterranean. In her new video work, she examines our comprehension of the magnitude of nature in a hypnotic translation of nautical charts of the depths of the sea. Liliya Lifanova breaks and mends surfaces, redefining drawing in a site-specific installation of bull-whipped paper and pins. In her ceramic sculptures invoking Czech border fortifications, Lifanova juxtaposes fragility and strength, while addressing the need for tension to achieve physical balance. Brett Swenson’s obsidian and jack-post installation invades the gallery space with a symbiosis of the natural and man-made. He pushes the limits of the materials while the work seemingly extends beyond the gallery’s vertical boundaries.

With a shared emphasis on materiality and experimentation, each of the artists exposes in their work the desire to break down false limits and the range of human emotions that come when confronting the unknown.

Keren Benbenisty (b. 1977 in Herzeliya, Israel; lives and works in New York, NY) graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2004. Her solo exhibitions include “Mare Nostrum,” Francesca Antonini Gallery, Rome, Italy (2016) and recent group exhibitions include “Saxa Loquuntur Stones Speak,” El Museo de Los Sures, Brooklyn, NY (2015); “In Conversation II, From the Museum Collection,” Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (2015); “Of Average Means,” Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA (2015); “Sextant,” NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY (2015); “Two Different Ways To Do Two Different Things,” Kristen Lorello Gallery, NY (2015); and “Kamil,” Pseudo Empire, Brooklyn, NY (2014). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.

Liliya Lifanova (b. 1983 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; lives and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2010 and her BFA from The City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 2006. Her solo exhibitions include “Study for L’Attente,” W10W, New York, NY (2016); “Rumour from Ground Control,” Rooster Gallery, New York, NY (2015); “canvass [PHASE I, II],” Gridchinhall, Moscow, Russia and “Flying Carpet Prayers,” El Posito, Belalcazar, Cordoba, Spain (both in 2011); and “The Wardrobe: A Game in Waiting,” SUGs Gallery X, Chicago, IL (2009). Recent group exhibitions include “Ladies Knight,” World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum, Saint Louis, MO (2016); and “Time + Space (Beginnings),” Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2016). Her work is in the permanent collection of the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Brett Swenson (b. 1987 in Chicago, IL; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. His solo exhibitions include “Potential Difference,” Agnes Varis Art Center, Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY (2014) and recent group exhibitions include “Paracosm", Norte Maar, Brooklyn, NY (2016); “50 Years of RISD Glass: Material”, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, RI (2016); SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai (2016); “Perched in the Eye of a Tornado,” Ying Space, Beijing (2015);  “Art of the Fellowship,” Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts, NJ (2015); Pioneer Works Artist in Residence, Brooklyn, NY (2014); and “Come Together: Surviving Sandy,” Brooklyn, NY (2013).

Melinda Wang is currently Executive Director of New York Artists Equity Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1947 to promote opportunities for artists, and Equity Gallery, an art space on the Lower East Side.  She is also an independent curator and Founder and Principal of MW Projects, a cultural production and art advisory firm dedicated to bringing contemporary art to historic sites, non-traditional venues and liminal spaces.

Melinda graduated from Princeton University and received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Melinda serves on the Board of Governors of the Princeton Association of New York City and is Chair of the Association’s Arts & Culture Committee.  In addition, she is an advisory board member of Silvershed, an artist-run space, and is active in Collective Show and the Junior Associates of the Museum of Modern Art.

About Artists Equity and Equity Gallery

New York Artists Equity Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1947 by artists and art patrons with the mission to promote opportunities for artists. It operates Equity Gallery, an art space located on the Lower East Side of New York City. It simultaneously serves as a gallery for artists to exhibit and sell their work; a hub for professional workshops and innovative programming exploring critical issues of interest to artists and curators; and a gathering place for artists, curators and patrons. For more information, please visit

Photos of the event :

This exhibition is made possible in partnership with Equity Gallery and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts / Art Works Grant and the Dedalus Foundation.




Keren Benbenisty

Liliya Lifanova

Brett Swenson