BREATHLESS - BENJAMIN SENIOR - 2011
12th May 2011 – 28th May 2011
Private View: Wednesday 11th of May
Gallery open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 12.00 to 18.00
Event: Children’s egg tempera Workshop
Studio 106 Art Gallery is delighted to announce Breathless, a solo exhibition by artist Benjamin Senior.
Central to Senior’s practice is a formal play of rhythms, false symmetries and colour relationships. These elements are combined in this new body of work in which he uses physical exercise as a springboard for exploring the connotations of the body fixed within a flattened space.
Representing geometrised figures in the context of sport and exercise allows the artist to indulge both in abstract pattern and the rendering of the human body. In Senior’s work, the body becomes a formal matter, reduced to a rhythmic play between convexity and flatness against a patterned background.
Small-scale canvasses are used to reinforce the attention of the viewer to the meanings of geometry and symmetry of the bodies that often seems to interact with the space around them.
References for his imagery can be found in the figurative stylization of the 1920’s and 30’s. By turning this historicized lens on the contemporary culture of bodily wellbeing and regimented exercise, as Senior touches upon binaries of the natural and the unnatural, the collective and the individual, the healthy and the unhealthy.
Viewers of Senior’s work can also sense the artist’s enjoyment of control – over the exacting medium of egg tempera; over the configuration of the body; and over the system of hard-edged colours and shapes that characterise his work. With a surgical precision and wry humour, Senior probes ambiguous areas of our notion of healthy lifestyle, ideal beauty and visual pleasure.
Does Breathless imply exercise or stillness? By placing an emphasis on observational drawing rather than photography as the preparation for painting, Senior strives to directly capture certain effects of nature – a particular quality of light, the warmth beneath the skin. Senior’s paintings are strongly inflicted by everyday observations, and yet amplify the numeric and geometric nature of our everyday perception.
The outcomes of Senior’s practice are familiar and at the same time quietly perplexing images. They invite us to draw closer to the works and ruminate over these paradoxes and contradictions.
Benjamin Senior. Lives and works in London. Senior graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010. Currently he is a resident artist at the Kingsgate Workshops Trust in London. Recent exhibitions include The Fort Painting Show at Fort, London, The Future Can Wait, Shoreditch Town Hall, London, Polemically Small, Charlie Smith London, and the 2010 Studio Voltaire Members Exhibition, selected by Jennifer Higgie and Rebecca Warren, London. www.benjaminsenior.com
Top: Benjamin Senior – Stretches / 2010
Left Bottom: Benjamin Senior – Hydra / 2010
Right Bottom: Benjamin Senior – Equilibrium/ 2010