LUMINOUS LANDSCAPES BY SYLVIA BENITEZ ON VIEW IN BEEVILLE
Exhibition on View from May 18 – July 18, 2013
The Beeville Art Museum will host a solo exhibition of works by landscape artist Sylvia Benitez, an East Coast native now living and working in Seguin, Texas.The exhibition, titled Climb Every Mountain, will feature her quietly luminous paintings that according to the artist were “inspired by the light, color and feel of the South Texas landscape.”
A nationally-acclaimed artist, Sylvia Benitez has received numerous honors over the years, including two Pollock-Krasner awards, two NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) awards, an AICA (Association of International Critics of Art) award, and an Empire State’s Craft award.Benitez doesn’t work from photographs as many artists do, relying instead on her memory.She describes her work as emotional, explaining that she “absorbs the colors, the rolling clouds, the big sky, the low horizon of South Texas” and brings that emotional memory to the canvas. The artist’s paintings and sculptural work have been shown in museums, sculpture parks, and galleries throughout the United States, including the Whitney Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the American Craft Museum, among others, and reviewed in national publications including Art in America, Sculpture Magazine and The New York Times.
I have a ladder. I climb a mountain. From sea to shining "see." I now paint landscapes. Not typical ones, nor imaginary ones. I have had too much training in perspective, horizon, foreground, background, etc. My work is emotional. I think of Robert Henri training the inner eye. I absorb the colors, the rolling cloud, the blurred edge, and the obfuscated patches of near form. I bring this study to my canvas without the aid of photographs, to paint a feel of the world around me.
I live in an obscure place and I choose to paint that. The landscape is beautiful, even lonely, and quite lacking in modern footprint. South Texas is a strange land to this East Coast girl, and I feel very much the stranger. Here live whispers of a place where Comanche, Santa Anna, and early settlers promenade like spectral ectoplasm, their goo floating past my lidded eyes with rapacious abandon. My exploration on canvas addresses this virginal, untamed world that lives "still" within our present one.
I try to capture in work my emotional response to this particularly wonderful feel. My paintings celebrate an abandonment of real time in hopes of capturing all time. I do this by what my hand and personal rhythm can create in a natural way without too much intellectual prodding. I seek a gentler voice, the one that does not rush the one that is timeless.