MARK BENNETT, Home of Jim & Margaret Anderson, 2017, Lithograph on Rives BFK paper, 24 x 36 inches (Edition of 10)
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Most will remember this home on 607 South Maple Street in Springfield from the TV Sitcom “Father Knows Best” that starred Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, and Lauren Chapin. The series, which first began on radio in 1949, aired for six seasons with a total of 203 episodes. The series debuted on CBS in October 1954. It ran for one season and was canceled the following year. NBC picked up the series where it remained for three seasons. After a second cancellation in 1958, CBS picked up the series yet again where it aired until May 1960.
Mark Bennett‘s (b. 1956, Tennessee) whimsical works engage with pop culture and celebrity to an extreme degree. His blueprint lithographs of Baby Boom era sitcoms and popular television series depict the ultimate pairing of flight of fancy and stoical logic; the purely imaginary floor plans grounded by the dry format of an architect’s design. His works are both pleasingly nostalgic and vaguely disconcerting in their premonition of a society obsessed by television and celebrity culture.
For the past 25 years, Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bennett has made art firmly rooted in the collective American experience of television. His drawings and lithographs are “blueprints” of famous television houses from such classic sitcoms as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Brady Bunch, and Perry Mason. Drawing these fictional dwellings from memory, Bennett documents the minutiae of the characters’ lives by constructing their environments with a painstaking level of detail. His floor plans narrate the American Dream, charting not only the architecture, but also the subtext of our culturally accepted models for living.
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