Brian Gross Fine Art

Karl Benjamin at One Post Street

Karl Benjamin at One Post Street

Monday, June 30, 2008Friday, September 5, 2008

San Francisco, CA USA

On display are four paintings by renowned Southern California painter Karl Benjamin. One of the original hard-edged abstract painters from the 1950's, Karl Benjamin's work has been increasingly respected for its timeless investigation of color. Represented here are three of his works, often referred to as his "Stripe Paintings" and a fourth, "(Mostly) Random Rectangles." The exhibition is on view through September 5, 2008.

In 1959, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized a landmark exhibition entitled "Four Abstract Classicists," presenting works by the Los Angeles artists Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin. The show's curator coined the term "hard edge painting," noting the similar styles. The works are characterized by clean edged, interlocking geometric forms rendered in flat color and occupying the entire picture plane in a manner that is also frequently referred to as Geometric Abstraction. This exhibition placed the artists in history, and people have thus referred to their paintings ever since.

Born in Chicago in 1925, Karl Benjamin received his BA from the University of Redlands, Redlands, California and his MFA at Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions and is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; Oakland Museum, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Seattle Art Museum, Washington; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others. For many years, Benjamin taught painting at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School. He recently retired from teaching and continues to live in Claremont.

Work by Karl Benjamin is currently also on view at the Oakland Museum of California, featured in an exhibition titled Birth of the Cool. The exhibition includes painting, architecture, furniture design, decorative and graphic arts, film, and music that launched midcentury modernism in the United States, and established Los Angeles as a major American cultural center. Organized by the Orange County Museum of Art, the exhibition features over 150 objects. The works examine the historical and cultural overlapping of 1950's trends in Southern California across a wide range of disciplines. The Oakland Museum exhibition continues through August 17, 2008.

One Post Street is located at the intersection of Post, Market, and Montgomery Streets next to the Montgomery BART Station. Lobby hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-6pm.