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Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984

Paul Behnke Steelville 1984, 2011

View in a room Painting 50 x 50 inch Unique artwork


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Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984
  • Offered by the gallery

    Londres - United Kingdom

  • Authenticity

    Work sold with an invoice from the gallery
    and a certificate of authenticity

  • Signature

    Hand-signed by artist

  • Medium

    Painting : acrylic

  • Themes


  • Support

    Painting on canvas on stretcher

  • Type

    Unique work

  • Dimensions cm | inch

    50 x 50 inch

  • Framing

    Not framed

  • Collector’s Guide

  • About the artwork

    Acrylic on canvas - Unframed.

    While making these paintings, Behnke was mainly concerned with formal qualities. Unique forms, color interaction and the application of paint are the content of these works and along with those come the dualities of thick/thin, fast, slow, hard /soft, etc. that are ever present in the making of an interesting object.

    Although, the images and paint application are at first chaotic; the final compositions tend to abut hard edge, pared down forms against large expanses of contrasting and flat, high key color.

    The artist’s hand and the medium’s materiality are evident in the bumps, ridges, and bubbles in the paintings’ surface and the off kilter, slapdash character of the supports. All of this calls attention to the gritty, handmade attributes of the work as well as demonstrating the object-ness of his paintings. These characteristics are shared with the New Casualist movement in Brooklyn and the Supports/ Surfaces group in Paris.

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Paul Behnke

Born in: 1965

United States

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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Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984
Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984 Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984 Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984 Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984 Paul Behnke, Steelville 1984

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