los-angeles

Karl Benjamin

Tortue Gallery

One of the original “Abstract Classicists” for whom Jules Langsner invented the term “hard-edge” in the 1950s, Karl Benjamin has within the past two years begun showing again locally after a long absence from the LA gallery scene. Benjamin is a productive and changeable artist, regularly turning out about 50 paintings a year in a wide variety of more and less convincing hard-edge styles. Unlike last season’s diffuse arrangements of modular rectangles on a grid, the new paintings leave no room to loiter. They are as taut as a tightly strung lute.

Immaculate execution and serial conception characterize Benjamin’s work. The new oils on canvas are moderate in size and composed of varicolored narrow stripes on a solid ground. With that thin stripe as his basic unit, Benjamin builds large geometric shapes and develops an assortment of sub-series. One group exploits the two right triangles formed

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 1977 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.