Wisdom & Folly
oil on canvas
64” x 46”
Kim Benson currently works in Minneapolis, MN. She received her MFA from the University of WI-Madison and a BFA from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, MN. Her paintings have been exhibited widely in both solo and group shows, including MANA Contemporary in Chicago, IL, Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI, Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, Bockley Gallery and HAIR+NAILS in Minneapolis, MN and Brooklyn, NY. She has attended residencies at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO, McCanna House through the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, ND, Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY, and Soap Factory Emerging Artist Program in Minneapolis, MN. She currently works at Minneapolis College of Art and Design as adjunct professor of art. Upcoming Solo show in late 2020 at HAIR+NAILS in Minneapolis.
“My process has become a type of chaos management. I want to create a painting that is visually overwhelming. I hope the work suggests an idea of exuberance through dissolving figure-ground relationships into a kind of maelstrom. In building up multiple layers, I strive to create a painting that plays with the viewer’s comprehension of space, form, and illusion through complicating the visual pathway into the painting. I try to weave together foreground and background as if these layers are a complex collage. I find this play between overloading the composition while simultaneously harnessing order to be exciting. It is a balancing act bringing the painting up to a point near failure.
I am inspired by the Italian Baroque period, for its energetic and emotionally charged elements that appear to move ones eyes around as if on a rollercoaster. Along with the curvilinear movement, I reference paintings from the Baroque for the intensely rich chromatic shifts, bold tonal variation, and spatial structuring that keep form near the front denying extreme depth. All of these formal elements create a complex dance before the eyes. I attempt to deploy these ideas through my own unique painting sensibility and careful handiwork while considering how best it describes my personal concerns. Within the unraveling structure, the paintings contain a balancing act that I hope suggests contradictions between growth and decay, chaos and control, and beauty and perversity. The painting process evolves organically into what I hope is both assiduously fresh and challenging.”