Past Exhibition

A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953–1995

A Conversation with Color features 46 paintings spanning 42 years of Karl Benjamin’s career, from his early experiments with cubism to works that represent his role as one of the founders of abstract classicism.

Beginning with his earliest experiments with cubist-inspired pictorialism and stimulated by the works of Piet Mondrian, Joan Miró, and Lionel Feininger, the exhibit follows Benjamin’s trajectory through his breakthrough hard edge works and international exposure with the landmark exhibition Four Abstract Classicists in 1959 to the serial explorations with patterns, systems, letter shapes, stripes, and natural forms in the 70’s and 80’s.

The exhibition culminates with some of his later works where he returned to compositions harkening back to his innovative early paintings, this time infused with a rich and complex palette, refined by decades of observations and ‘conversations’ with color.

A Claremont resident since 1952, a professor of art at Pomona College from 1979 to 1994, and a nurturing and unwavering supporter of emerging and established artists, Karl Benjamin is a significant and profound influence on a generation of artists.

Karl Benjamin-Color Theory Video