CLAREMONT, CA.- The tree-lined college town of Claremont, California, will gain a museum of its own when the Claremont Museum of Art opens its doors to the public on Sunday, April 15, 2007. Located inside a renovated citrus packing house, the museums inaugural exhibit will be a retrospective of the work of renowned Claremont painter Karl Benjamin.
Beginning with his earliest experiments with cubist-inspired pictorialism and stimulated by the works of Piet Mondrian, Joan Miró, and Lionel Feininger, A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953-1995 will follow Benjamin's trajectory through his breakthrough hard edge works and international exposure with the landmark exhibition Four Abstract Classicists in 1959 to the serial explorations with patterns, systems, letter shapes, stripes, and natural forms in the 70's and 80's.
The exhibition will culminate with examples of his often overlooked later works where he returned to compositions harkening back to his innovative early paintings, this time infused with a rich and complex palette, refined by decades of observations and conversations with color.
Emblematic of the mission of the Claremont Museum of Art, Benjamin is truly a regional artist of international importance, said Curator Steve Comba. Though known and respected as an inventive painter, Benjamin's influence as a supportive and munificent teacher -- and persuasive advocate for paintings long-standing relevance and currency -- will also be his legacy. His paintings and his persona share a common trait, one where give and take is rewarded, where the conversation is open and generous.
A resident of Claremont since 1952, a professor of art at Pomona College from 1979 to 1994, and a nurturing and unwavering supporter of emerging and established artists, Karl Benjamin continues to be a significant and profound influence on a generation of artists.