Miyako Yoshinaga is pleased to announce Something on Water, the fourth solo exhibition of figurative oil paintings by German artist Hans Benda, on view from April 18 through May 25, 2013. A reception will be held on Thursday, April 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Hans Benda, in his own words, is “trying to catch one moment, one aspect of endless transition. Everything is on the move. The waves at the shore move in a similar way than the mountains in the back. Just more quickly!” Benda’s landscapes and portraits remind us of how ephemeral the spectacle of life is and urge us to embrace it. While a bucolic bay scene and a field landscape with blossoming trees imply a moment of calm and peace, brown tidal waves and a hovering last snow signal both rapid and slow changes. By contrast, ruined walls in a field or a small lakeside view is more muted and restrained yet uninviting.
Something on Water breaks the boundaries between interior and exterior. In one of Benda’s compositions rampant nature slowly reclaims a well-tended pond and a greenhouse. Whereas in a garage, a calm water surface indicates the aftermath of a deluge. Elsewhere, a quietly curtained living room concealing any outside view suggests a space immune to nature’s imprint.
Benda’s evocative paintings reflect a state of urgency, with a calm and observant realistic perspective. His work reminds us to simply enjoy being alive. Benda's female semi-nude portraits emphasize both physical and mental fitness, their sensual bodies, offering a complementary perspective to his elegant and richly colored landscapes. According to art critic Jill Conner “Benda utilizes painting to subsume one into nature, rather than push one away, suggesting the intricate physical and psychological connection that exists between one and the environment.”
Born in Berlin in 1960, Hans Benda studied Fine Arts at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe (1982-87). He currently divides his time between Verviers (Belgium) and Misakimachi (Japan). Benda’s work has been shown in Germany, Belgium, France, Japan and the United States.