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Paul Behnke

Born in: 1965

United States

Biography
Translation in progress

Paul Behnke is an American abstract painter whose work prioritizes form.

His images flow from a mixture of intuition, pop cultural influences, mystic thought, and what he describes as “a formal romantic modernism."

He lives and works in New York.

Behnke works in a range of sizes, from large scale canvases to small, intimate works on paper. Preferring purity, he tends to use colors straight from the tube rather than mixing them himself. He builds his paintings systematically over the course of many layers. The initial layers are painted and scraped repeatedly. He lists many tools that he uses in this process, including “yardsticks, palette knives, forks, and pottery tools," but when it comes time to build the final surface of the work he prefers to apply the paint with a brush. By sticking to traditional tools during this essential step, he maintains his conviction that “the technique must service the painting, not the other way around."

Behnke strives to create a sense of conflict between the forms in his paintings. Discord is essential, he believes, to maintain the interest of the viewer. He limits his color palette to prioritize tension, compressing the other elements within the image in order to build competition between them.

That strife that is evident between the visible forms, as well as between what is seen and what is unseen. Hints of past layers protrude through the final surface, drawing our attention to the past and questions of process. Meanwhile, figurative elements sometimes seem to emerge within the abstract fields, bringing with them their own suggestive potentialities.

All the while, Behnke is most interested in finding the right mixture of harmony and the loss of balance; planning and the suspension of control.

Behnke has exhibited extensively in New York and throughout the United States, as well as in Heidelberg, London, Dublin, Paphos, Glasgow and The Netherlands, among others. His work has been reviewed in publications such as Hyperallergic, The New Criterion, and The New Republic.

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    Tags
  • Painting

  • Painting Abstract

  • Painting Acrylic

  • American Artist

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Paul Behnke, Mutineer, Painting

Paul Behnke

Mutineer, 2015
58 x 60 inch
Painting

$10,320

Paul Behnke, Space 1999 HHA, Painting

Paul Behnke

Space 1999 HHA, 2014
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Hektor’s Cut, Painting

Paul Behnke

Hektor’s Cut, 2010
42 x 44 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Crusader, Painting

Paul Behnke

Crusader, 2018
60 x 62 inch
Painting

$10,320

Paul Behnke, Red Ripper, Painting

Paul Behnke

Red Ripper, 2014
50 x 48 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Lucifer, Painting

Paul Behnke

Lucifer, 2014
50 x 48 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Devil Bat, Painting

Paul Behnke

Devil Bat, 2014
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Dark Form for Alan Davie, Painting

Paul Behnke

Dark Form for Alan Davie, 2013
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Black Form, Painting

Paul Behnke

Black Form, 2012
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Bat Form, Painting

Paul Behnke

Bat Form, 2014
50 x 48 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984, Painting

Paul Behnke

Steelville 1984, 2011
50 x 50 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, The New Automaton, Painting

Paul Behnke

The New Automaton, 2012
46 x 48 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Young Lochinvar, Painting

Paul Behnke

Young Lochinvar, 2013
50 x 48 inch
Painting

$8,243

Paul Behnke, Roseangle, Painting

Paul Behnke

Roseangle, 2010
44 x 42 inch
Painting

$7,238

Paul Behnke, Aegis, Painting

Paul Behnke

Aegis, 2016
36 x 36 inch
Painting

$6,165

Paul Behnke, Golgotha, Painting

Paul Behnke

Golgotha, 2018
36 x 36 inch
Painting

$6,165

Paul Behnke, Minotaur (Pink), Painting

Paul Behnke

Minotaur (Pink), 2019
36 x 28 inch
Painting

$6,165

Paul Behnke, Sword of Damocles, Painting

Paul Behnke

Sword of Damocles, 2011
54 x 52 inch
Painting

$9,248

Paul Behnke, Vandervoort Place, Painting

Paul Behnke

Vandervoort Place, 2012
36 x 38 inch
Painting

$6,165

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