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A portfolio about Karl Benjamin(an artist), and discussing the meaning of the work, its form, its context, its qualities - Essay Example

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A portfolio about Karl Benjamin(an artist), and discussing the meaning of the work, its form, its context, its qualities

He experimented with oil paints and found their translucence intriguing and began to use them in a flat mode, in interlocking geometric patterns with well-defined clean edges, which later came to be known as hard-edged painting. 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. His works emerge out of a pure fascination with color, and seek to intensively examine the relationships between various shades and types to create moods: most of his chosen colors are sunny, brilliant, and are often used in blinding contrasts.
His first groundbreaking exhibition was in 1954, and since then his collections have been exhibited numerous times in various galleries and museums, where his work has been noted for its wit and inventiveness. An example is the painting simply called "#4," dated 1972, which is a rectangle 128 cms* 170cms. This proportion has been adapted as the ratio of height and width for all the 576 colored rectangles Benjamin has painted in this picture.
The color distribution covers the ...Show more
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Summary

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…
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