New York

Martha Benzing

Caren Golden Fine Art

Over the last few years, Martha Benzing has made a medium of M&Ms. She has endowed the coated candies with the splendor of precious jewels, or lovingly leached them of their pigment, leaving them striped or polka-dotted or simply bare naked. A group of small canvases shown last year had been “painted” with M&Ms and partially melted cough drops, then scaled in shiny resin. Benzing has now brought a new measure of refinement and control to her technique, resulting in her largest works yet: the “M&M and Kool-Aid Series” (all works 1997). After being emptied of their chocolate insides, M&Ms were placed on calligraphy paper that had been soaked in Kool-Aid. The pigments soaked into the clamp paper, with many of the candies leaving their white m signature. Then the paper, with a few stray pieces still stuck to it, was mounted on canvas and given a luscious coat of resin—a protection that, like

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