Ben Pranger's sculpture combines organic and architectural elements in hybrid constructions of papier-mâché, plaster, wood and paint. Moving between organization and chaos, the work often begins with a fragment of a previous work. Blobby masses are built around skeletal structures or scaffolding supports bulbous growths. These contrasting forms operate in tension: pixilated grids emerge from fluid forms like cities colonizing an indeterminate terrain. The sculpture is a kind of failed architecture, where structures, overwhelmed by disaster, collapse under the weight of matter, only to rise again from the ruins to rebuild the city anew. While the sculpture is decidedly low-tech, investigating material-based abstraction, it also imagines future worlds and habitations, suggesting sci-fi, dystopian scenarios.
Ben Pranger has shown his work throughout the U.S., including recent group shows at Art House Gallery (NJ), Drawing Rooms (NJ), Artist-Run/ Satellite Show (Miami), Trestle Gallery (NY) and Grizzly Grizzly (PA). He has participated in artist residencies at Kohler Art/Industry, Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and has received sculpture grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New Jersey Council for Art. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hollins University, Bloomsburg University of PA, and Drew University