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Karl Benjamin - Essay Example

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Karl Benjamin

Benjamin eliminates any trace of brushwork using big, flat brushes to spread the paint in the designated area, and creates the hard-edges by using masking tape around the area to be painted.
The patterns cover the entire picture, leaving no empty spaces, and rarely convey an impression of depth. They seem to flicker and move due to a well-planned use of color, which comes as much from Benjamin's use of intellect as his intuition. The shapes used are often triangles, lozenges, squares, pyramids and vertical stripes, and their existence in the paintings is defined by the colors used to create them.
Benjamin sometimes uses mathematical formulas and progressions to choose the color types, tones, shades and hues for one particular painting. He also paints his work in series in such a way that sometimes the only difference between two paintings lies in the colors used, shapes remaining identical.
Benjamin has definite political opinions, but they have never been expressed in his work, which remains resolutely abstract. ...Show more


Born in Chicago in 1925, Karl Benjamin is today a retired artist who is one of the most renowned names in Californian art for his Abstract classicist work. He is a self-taught artist who began his career as a grade school teacher. Benjamin's interest in painting developed while working on a project with his students, and initiated his lifelong fascination with shape and color and the infinite possibilities when the two are combined…
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