Karl Stanley Benjamin

"Color is the subject matter of painting. It possesses a powerful emotive quality, unique in each individual. Regardless of style or content, color is the material from which paintings are made." K. Benjamin

Karl Benjamin (Dec. 29, 1925, Chicago – July 26, 2012), an American painter of vibrant geometric abstractions, who rose to fame in 1959 as 1 of 4 Los Angeles-based Abstract Classicists and subsequently produced a critically acclaimed body of work that explores a vast array of color relationships. Working quietly at his home in Claremont, CA, he developed a rich vocabulary of colors and hard-edge shapes in masterful compositions of tightly balanced repose or high-spirited energy. At once intuitive and systematic, the artist is, in the words of critic Christopher Knight, "a colorist of great wit and inventiveness."

He enrolled at Northwestern University in 1943, but dropped out to join the US Navy during World War II. In 1946, after 3 years of military service, he moved to California to study English literature, history and philosophy at the University of Redlands with the help of the G.I. Bill. He received a BA degree and California teaching credentials in 1949.

With no formal education in art and no thought of becoming an artist, Benjamin married Beverly Jean Paschke, and began teaching in an elementary school in Bloomington, California in 1949. He started a family..., moved to Claremont in 1952, and subsequently taught in Chino for the next 30 years.

Benjamin's interest in art emerged serendipitously. Asked to develop art lessons for his students’ curriculum, he began working with crayons and became fascinated with the phenomenon of how colors can appear to change when juxtaposed with others. Eager to learn more, he took classes at the Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) and received an MA degree in 1960. By then, he was a serious painter and color was his subject matter.
.... More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Benjamin)
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First Collected by

Juan Jose Hoyos Quiles


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oil on canvas geometric color hard edge