Bettina Werner

American-Italian, Born 1965 Born in Milan where she studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Art, Bettina Werner moved to the United States in 1989. By this point she had already decided that colored salt was going to be her medium of choice. The coloring process is her own invention; she paints the crystals onto canvas or coats them on the surfaces of sculptures. Naming herself ‘the Salt Queen,’ she refers to her work as a spiritual and cathartic exercise. “I want to share each grain of salt and its radiances with the world,” she told the magazine il Democratico. “Less is more,” she said: “and when experiencing my art , one is able to fully appreciate the texture and shades of color at its heightened dimension.” In 1990 she signed a five-year contract with the Marisa Del Re Gallery in New York where she was shown alongside Calder and Miro. In 2002 Werner created the Salt Queen Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the furtherance and protection of her own salt-based art methods along with other “innovative artistic techniques and extraordinary media.” One section of her oeuvre is dedicated to her dalmatian, Tibino, who died in 2005. Her work has appeared at the Whitney Museum, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Portofino Museum in Italy. In 2010 she adopted American citizenship and held a 25-year career retrospective at 7 World Trade Center in New York.

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