Acrylic on canvas
Edition: Unique, Unframed.
While making these paintings, Behnke was mainly concerned with formal qualities. Unique forms, color ... moreAcrylic on canvas
Edition: Unique, Unframed.
While making these paintings, Behnke was mainly concerned with formal qualities. Unique forms, color interaction and the application of paint are the content of these works and along with those come the dualities of thick/thin, fast, slow, hard /soft, etc. that are ever present in the making of an interesting object.Although, the images and paint application are at first chaotic; the final compositions tend to abut hard edge, pared down forms against large expanses of contrasting and flat, high key color.The artists hand and the mediums materiality are evident in the bumps, ridges, and bubbles in the paintings surface and the off kilter, slapdash character of the supports. All of this calls attention to the gritty, handmade attributes of the work as well as demonstrating the object-ness of his paintings. These characteristics are shared with the New Casualist movement in Brooklyn and the Supports/ Surfaces group in Paris.
Paul Behnke is an American abstract painter whose work prioritizes form.His images flow from a mixture of intuition, pop cultural influences, mystic thought, and what he describes asa formal romantic modernism. He lives and works in New York. Behnke earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the Memphis College of Art in 1999, and has completed several residencies, including a Golden Foundation Residency Program residency in 2014.He has participated in artist talks at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin Ireland, and The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, among others. Behnke works in a range of sizes, from large scale canvases to small, intimate works on paper. Preferring purity, he tends to use colors straight from the tube rather than mixing them himself.He builds his paintings systematically over the course of many layers. The initial layers are painted and scraped repeatedly. He lists many tools that he uses in this process, includingyardsticks, palette knives, forks, and pottery tools, but when it comes time to build the final surface of the work he prefers to apply the paint with a brush.By sticking to traditional tools during this essential step, he maintains his conviction thatthe technique must service the painting, not the other way around. Behnke strives to create a sense of conflict between the forms in his paintings.Discord is essential, he believes, to maintain the interest of the viewer. He limits his color palette to prioritize tension, compressing the other elements within the image in order to build competition between them.That strife that is evident between the visible forms, as well as between what is seen and what is unseen. Hints of past layers protrude through the final surface, drawing our attention to the past and questions of process. Meanwhile, figurative elements sometimes seem to emerge within the abstract fields, bringing with them their own suggestive potentialities.All the while, Behnke is most interested in finding the right mixture of harmony and the loss of balance; planning and the suspension of control. In his 2012 catalogue essay, art critic John Yau wrote:Without any hint of irony, Behnke embraces the legacy of improvisation central to a number of the Abstract Expressionists. In his high-key, color-saturated paintings of planar forms and flame-like wisps, he wants to celebrate an imaginative space in which light and solid, translucence and opacity engage in a lively, open-ended dialogue. He doesnt abstract from life, but begins with paint and color. This is the key to his work. The final composition emerges from the act of putting paint on and scraping it away, of finding the painting. Behnke has exhibited extensively in New York and throughout the United States, as well as in Heidelberg, London, Dublin, Paphos, Glasgow and The Netherlands, among others.His work has been reviewed in publications such as Hyperallergic, The New Criterion, and The New Republic. less
- 50ʺW × 0.1ʺD × 50ʺH
- Item Type
- Mint Condition, Original Condition Unaltered, No Imperfections
- Condition Notes
- New New less
- Paul Behnke
- Place of Origin
- United States of America
- Art Subject
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