Arden Bendler Browning

Philadelphia, PA


I am an explorer, marking my way with paint. 

Walking, to get lost. 

How can I travel somewhere new through memory? 

I paint while studying layers of light, shadow, density, gesture, and infinite detail

(from my oversaturated snapshots of yesterday’s hike)

I gather and emulate fragments from many close together moments and perspectives.

How can I hold on to the fleeting moments without freezing them? What do they become? 

I layer marks over marks over marks. There is no horizon. 

The colors are more alive than we notice. Time moves more slowly when I am painting fast. 

The world is overloaded and so am I 

but it makes sense when looking carefully.

I need to look at something while painting.

I invent new worlds and journeys.

I put on a virtual reality headset, and grow my lap size paintings into distant and near walls.

I roam within the vast space of my small travel drawings, and use virtual reality tools to paint in three-dimensions. 

What was once the focus is now the backdrop, the floor, the unreachable island.

If you wear the headset, you too can walk through the paintings. 

Moving through these immersive marks, you become part of an unseen world. 

I record video while walking through my real but not real marks.

I paint while watching the video. The screen meanders through almost real shapes and brushstrokes : all aspects, all directions, all scales. 

There are always too many things demanding attention, too much to try to know. 

Everything is happening at the same time, and I’m trying to keep up. 

I am not as free as I crave.

I am a mother. 

The longer I look, to keep learning to see – to create something of this world that is also not at all of this world.

I am an explorer, always wanting to know more.

Poured, brushed, wiped, drawn, erased, stained, dripped.

It is never one thing – always multiples, always plural.

The longer I look, the more I am noticing the ways the colors talk to each other – 

becoming vague and then specific and then vague again – like a still image that is moving.


Philadelphia based artist Arden Bendler Browning creates large abstract paintings, small works on paper, and virtual reality (VR) environments. Her work explores movement, the desire for travel, digital imagery’s effect on perception, and creating immersive spaces.

Bendler Browning’s works are included in several public collections such as the West Collection, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Dream Hotel Nashville, Toyota, and PNC Tower, amongst others, and numerous private and corporate collections. Her work is represented by Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Galleri Urbane in Dallas, and Tinney Contemporary in Nashville. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings twice (2009 & 2013), The Studio Visit, Nashville Scene, D Magazine, Philadelphia Style Magazine, The Morning News, the artblog, polisblog, Philadelphia Inquirer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Drawing Magazine, among others. She has been featured in exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Weatherspoon Art Museum, James A. Michener Museum, Swarthmore College, Kutztown University, University of the Arts, West Chester University, Delaware Contemporary, Arlington Arts Center, and more. A commissioned permanent work for the City of Philadelphia at the Philadelphia International Airport, awarded through a rigorous competition and selection process, was installed in February 2017. Bendler Browning holds a BFA in Art with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1997), a Master of Studio Art with high distinctions from Sydney College of the Arts (2000), and an MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art (2003). She has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 2001, with her husband, creative tech programmer Matt Browning, and their three children.

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