Trudy Benson

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Trudy Benson

Work from her oeuvre.

“When a viewer engages with one of┬áTrudy Benson’s paintings, it is as if a stream of digital consciousness has purged itself onto the canvas. Every work contains waves of riotous strokes and spray marks emphasizing an influx of information as disjointed abstract thought. Benson explores the world of digital space, which manifests itself behind screens – pulling inspiration from her own relationships to computers, cell phones, and early videogames. With under paintings of grids and gradients, the artist utilizes symbols synonymous with art history and modern technology. This dichotomy in Benson’s work continues as she readily engages with classical painting tropes, while maintaining a mechanical dialogue. This complex weaving of contemporary western influence through archetypal painting techniques, within Benson’s intuitive mark making, provides no easy way to enter one of her massive canvases. There is a deliberate velocity and anxiety that is concentrated in the work. The layers of paint have visually appropriated the incessant humming which is inherent to all contemporary society – it is almost as if behind each set of stretcher bars one would find an electrical plug feeding power directly into the work.

Benson’s translation of technology and screens into art was seeded at a young age. Her “first abstract paintings were made as a child on an ancient black and white Mac with Microsoft Paint’s built-in tools: the pencil, the paintbrush, spray can, the fill bucket, and the gradient.” This primary exposure to digital art making, undoubtedly informed the artist as she transitioned into a material based practice. She regularly squeezes paint right out of the tube onto the canvas, and uses spray paint without reservations. Her direct art practice continues with the use of an eight-inch paint roller. Just as digital information is never lost, even after deletion, the large swatches of fresh paint from the roller uniquely preserves all previous marks in Benson’s paintings – while concurrently, creating new space for her to explore, and mediate in. It is apparent, that the artist’s practice is additive, and not subtractive. She is not daunted with the notion of layers or textures – each smudge, smear, blot, dot, stroke, etc, brings life to Benson’s paintings. Each canvas, and its immense physicality, commands a room – autonomously presenting a slurry of contemplation which simultaneously entices and overwhelms a viewer.”- Horton Gallery

Trudy Benson: PAINT opens April 25th at Horton Gallery, New York.

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