Ben Aronson is a contemporary American landscape artist who paints metropolitan spaces with a gestural attention on the effects of light on cities at rest and in motion. Aronson’s expressionist application of paint is underpinned by a precision that demonstrates a practical eye for realism, but conveys streets, buildings and faceless figures as but suggestions of movement and space. “Perfect spelling alone does not make great poetry,” Aronson says, “just as …. visual facts [do not] alone amount to high art.”
Art critic John O’Hern writes that Aronson “paints the extraordinary effects of light in metropolitan areas where the inhabitants are too busy to look.” Aronson will often rough out value and color studies of spaces en plein air and then work on his large-scale canvases back at his studio. Accordingly, his paintings contain an ebullient sense of the being-in-the-moment at a certain time of day, but also explore a further tension between realism and abstraction. Aiming for, according to Aronson, “the most concentrated form of a powerful visual experience,” his painterly style, metropolitan subjects, and sense of irony lend him a unique and highly regarded voice in contemporary American art.
Born in Boston to parents who are both painters in their own right, his mother Georgianna Nyman Aronson a respected portrait painter and father David Aronson a member of the Boston Figurative Expressionist Movement along with Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine. Ben Aronson was surrounded by artists, art dealers, musicians and actors from an early age and enrolled at the School of Fine Arts at Boston University, studying under James Weeks, Philip Guston, Reed Kay, and John Wilson.
His artistic career has found him featured in a diverse range of publications such as The New York Times, and Art in America, and his paintings reside in the permanent collections of over fifty museums worldwide, including the San Diego Museum of Art, California, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Suzhou Museum, Jiangsu Province, China, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Malta, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art.