Friday, May 13

Letting Go with Style: Ben Grasso

Construction Proposal II Ben Grasso 2009 (via Phaidon)
Ben Grasso's paintings start as something whole - houses, sometimes tankers, cars or structured landscapes - and then let go into wood planks, shadows and shapes. Most often these things are being blown up or unhinged, as if someone were to introduce a tornado or disaster into the Americana landscape ideals of Winslow Homer.
Untitled (House) Ben Grasso 2006 (via I Heart My Art)

His images seem to straddle logic - or beg to be reconstructed with logic - but actually reveal pretty orderly painted relationships. For example even as unreal those houses pulling themselves apart into a cross sections may be in a literal sense, the pieces cast shadows, the walls and structures exist exactly in space.

It's where Ben Grasso decides with the paint that makes these images so interesting. Those planks of wood or explosive motions become strips of color - and the decisive choice colors making a form in space - become delicious. It doesn't matter after that what violent act surrounds those forms - although that just makes them even more interesting.

See also Ben Grasso's current exhibit at Thierry Goldberg Projects. Or see also Julie Mehretu who takes this into an entirely different abstract idea.

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