With a remarkable sensitivity to color and painted surface Christopher Benson creates a unique form of contemporary representational painting. Benson references the ordering principles for his contemporary scenes specifically constructed through, according to the artist, “gestural brush marks, planes of colors, process, and articulated structures.” His approach to the Southwestern landscape features an emotionally affective, luminous palette to express his illustrations of space that articulate a view of the world in richly gestural geometric visual language, contrasting hard-edged imagery with organic forms. Although the representational elements of his paintings can beg immediate narrative interpretation, the arresting nature of Benson’s compositions conveys a more deeply felt psychological responsiveness to structure, color and balance.
Born in Providence, RI, in 1960 to artist parents, Benson later attended the Rhode Island School of Design for three years before moving to New Mexico and California to pursue painting and continuing education on his own. Benson returned to RISD to complete his BFA in Painting in 2005 after receiving the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Painting Fellowship in 2001. Benson received a second Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in 2016. His work is included in leading public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art.