Ben Terry, Where is My Mind, 2012, mixed media on panel, 65 x 85 in
ModernDallas.net re-post from my article in August 2012
You don't have to follow my writing long before you find yourself reading about artists Bonny Leibowitz and Benjamin Terry. Separately I have reviewed them and I have even referenced their work in comparison to other artists. In Leibowitz' case, I reviewed several group shows and one solo show, but this show at Cohn Drennan Contemporary; she pretty much has another solo show. Terry is also showing a body of work, but this feels more experimental and he is pushing his limits as an MFA candidate should.
If you have only seen hints of Leibowitz’ work or even her last solo show, you are in for a big surprise, because this work demonstrates some significant growth. Her use of encaustic and color palate remains consistent, though in some pieces the colors push a little out of the realm of her normal earth tones. The collage element has expanded her usual mode of pure abstract and introduced a bit of art history and narrative story telling. She is also breaking the rectangular frame by allowing some of the work to hang off the sides, while others just become organic objects on the wall. Bonny creates one or two focal points surrounded by smaller areas of interest. She is a master of the encaustic process and she uses this skill to its full advantage. She manages to take this ancient art process and bring it into the contemporary art world, while still retaining some of the spirits of an artifact.
Benjamin Terry has been moving toward abstraction though erasing out the objects and figures in his paintings. So I was not surprised to see him attempt further abstractions where all but the lines and muted colors are left. I still gravitate toward his figure painting, with their interestingly obfuscated story lines. I think Terry is still experimenting with the purely abstract forms, but I am intrigued with this new work and I look forward to see where it goes.
Cohn Drennan Contemporary will be exhibiting Benjamin Terry and Bonny Leibowitz through September 1st. And don’t forget Cohn Drennan Contemporary’s UNT Link in Gallery A show. This combined effort between a commercial gallery and a university is especially good news for the visual art community. The next cohort of important artists generally springs from MFA programs, and the University of North Texas has one of the best programs in Texas. To have this collaboration only helps to strengthen our gallery scene and the artists coming out of our universities.
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