GRAPHITE PAINTINGS

M. BENJAMIN HERNDON

Dec. 7 - Jan. 27

M. Benjamin Herndon’s graphite paintings couple their thoughtful materiality with subtle geometric imagery. Using handmade graphite and gelatin-based paint, developed over years of experimentation, Herndon selectively polishes his paintings’ surfaces and draws with silverpoint to create a tonal range from near-black to bright silver, often depending on the viewer’s location with respect to light. Herndon’s paintings reside somewhere in between the concerns of materially-focused post-minimalism and image-driven abstraction: image and material merge in a complimentary whole. The reductive work is quiet and meditative, yet intentional formal disruptions in the paintings sidestep the pitfalls of stasis. The paintings feature organically geometric patterns that are given room to shift swiftly, but subtly. In effect, form emerges from the material, rather than being imposed upon it. The exhibition features seven paintings in a range of scales, offering both enveloping and intimate interactions that encourage slow and careful looking.

M. Benjamin Herndon (b. 1985, Northern California) received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2016, and a BFA from School of Visual Arts in 2012. Herndon has been awarded residencies and fellowships at the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Marble House Project, and others. He currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, and teaches in the printmaking department at RISD.

 
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