Karl Benjamin, #31, 1965
Oil on canvas
26 x 3o inches
September 24 – December 24, 2011
Karl Benjamin did not set out to become one of the founding fathers of Hard Edge painting. His plan was to write. However, in 1950 while attempting to offer art instruction, along with reading and writing, to his classroom of sixth graders, Karl Benjamin discovered painting, switched his allegiance to the visual arts and the rest is history.
In the course of his lengthy career, Benjamin and his luminous, grid-based paintings have earned accolades from colleagues, collectors and curators alike. The artist ’s thirty-year trajectory, catalogued in this exhibition, could serve as a guide for the evolution of American abstract painting. Benjamin’s meticulous exploration of color, his intuitive understanding of complex spatial relationships and the sheer joie de vivre with which each canvas announces itself to the viewer are, in equal parts, impeccable and irresistible.
In a 2008 interview, Benjamin commented, “I wasn’t thinking about a career in art; I just wanted to make beautiful paintings.” This selection of paintings should persuade anyone with eyes that the artist has more than succeeded. He has triumphed.
Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the artist, and is pleased to present the exhibition as a participating gallery in the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with text by Suzanne Muchnic.