May 16th - June 22nd, 2008
Inspired by political and social changes in urban public life, Kristopher Benedict paintings look at the role of individuals in the contemporary city. In his first exhibition at the A.M. Richard gallery, the artist chooses to examine the changing relationship between public and private space. Each of the three rooms in the gallery contains a wall-sized painting, their presence acting as foil for the intimate and domestic scale of the gallery. The paintings themselves are full of similar disjunctions as Benedict superimposes several images into each composition. Within the same work, colors may stream from oversaturated to muted, from jarring to harmonious. The overall sensations transpiring from the Benedict paintings range from contemplative to rapturous; the tone from melodious to cacophonous.
Using seemingly disparate sources such as images found on internet searches and sketches stemming from the imagination, the paintings in RETREAT feature yoga practitioners, mothers and children, pre-historical beasts, public parks and municipal spaces.
Through a complexity of visual forms and techniques, with spontaneity and a type of controlled improvisation leaning towards experimentation, Benedict's work engages in expansive connections and art historical touchstones while presenting an iconography of lifestyle, leisure and spiritual belief.
Just as the paintings in their execution play with the various possibilities of creating meaning in a given image, the characters, landscapes, and situations depicted in RETREAT attempt to bridge the search for self-realization and connection - the signifier - in contemporary urban life.