new-york

Benny Andrews

Acts of Art

Benny Andrews’ art is true to itself. Andrews seems to follow no canons of visual selection besides those that originate within his own experience—as an artist who reached maturity when Abstract Expressionism was in its heyday, as a black man in America, plus a good deal of native stubbornness about not just doing what’s expected of him. His work runs the gamut from delicate line drawings through epical murals to elaborate collage statues and groups of figures.

There are strong elements of abstraction in his composition, use of color and almost Cubist, schematic rendering of forms. His forms are recognizable but by no stretch of the imagination realistic. Some of his work carries heavy social baggage in its symbolism, some symbolism is utterly his own: like his love tree, a whimsical, long-stalked plant with an explosion of colored flowers at its tip. Some works bring the part of his being

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