February 6 – March 1, 2013
James Fuentes is pleased to announce its forthcoming exhibition by Benjamin Senior. Benjamin Senior’s paintings at first sight appear to be tranquil, serene and classical. Their subject matter is innocuous, and uncontroversial; the habits of health, relaxation and leisure within a modern lifestyle. Swimming, Pilates, yoga, jogging and rambling are some of the activities that Senior’s subjects engage in his pictures. Exercise provides a glimpse of utopia, a moment of freedom from the contingencies of the everyday. Senior seems, in his paintings, to stretch these moments out towards eternity. Senior’s work is classical in its structure. The figures are sculptural, and great attention is paid to the way light falls upon the figures in order to enhance their three dimensionality. Senior is constantly playing the figures off against each other, or against flat backgrounds in order to enhance their plasticity.
Paradoxically, the absolute stillness of all his work, reminiscent of Piero della Francesca, is enhanced by figures who are caught in moments of extreme movement, swimming, diving, jogging, stretching or swinging themselves over a farmyard fence. Senior likes to freeze movement in mid flow, much like a photographer, but unlike photography the figures are caught forever in the moment, frozen into a stasis that is more still than photography could ever be. From this contradiction of a collapsing of movement into a total stillness, other contradictions in Senior’s work begin to open up. Patterns on swimming costumes and leotards clash in an almost psychedelic op art way with patterns on the wall, creating clashing optical force fields. Objects such as leaves blow across the picture plane in an incongruous relationship of scale. These devices all contribute to the feeling that the order in Senior’s work is unstable, even on the brink of collapse. – Text by Dan Coombs, 2013
Benjamin Senior received his BA at Wimbledon School of Art in 2004, and his MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in 2010. He held a solo exhibition at BolteLange, Zurich in 2012 and two-person exhibition at James Fuentes LLC in 2010. Coming up in May of he will present a solo exhibition in the Discoveries section at Art Basel Hong Kong with BolteLang. Residencies and awards include; Kingsgate Workshops Trust Residency 2011 – 2012 and the Gordon Luton Prize for Painting, 2010.