Mini Bungles Crab Creek (A), Paintings 39.5 x 39.5

Uncovering a New Sense of Place: The Landscape Paintings of Krim Benterrak

When confronted with a Krim Benterrak landscape painting, the viewer is immediately struck by the immense sense of space, of unending vistas marked by brilliant saturated colors, smooth bodies of water, and unfettered lines. Each painting is distinguished by a pervading sense of harmony and balance, unencumbered by time or geographical place.

By their very nature, Benterrak’s images are expressionistic, meant to evoke the emotional connection we all share with natural landscapes and our deepest layers of consciousness. Benterrak intends for his art to “open windows in people’s walls,” to offer images that the viewer can reflect on and resonate with emotionally whenever they need to heal or expand their consciousness.

Born in Marrakech, Morocco, in 1952, Benterrak first developed an interest in painting through his own Berber culture and his love of the pristine landscapes that infused his earliest memories. He later pursued art in Europe, studying at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1972 to 1976. When he came to Western Australia in 1976 (where he still lives and works today), the land itself brought back memories of his homeland, and he was compelled to paint it. During this early period, he spent three years studying directly under the Aboriginal elders, who taught him about their culture, what the landscape means to them, and the intrinsic connection between humans and the land they inhabit.

Benterrak makes a point of starting each painting with a blank white canvas. With the first mark of paint against the blank space, he creates a problem for himself that needs to be solved. Using a wide range of materials and techniques to create color, texture, form, washes, and impasto, Benterrak seeks to find that visual solution, and when he does, the painting is finished.

Over his 30-plus-year career, Benterrak’s work has found its way into collections around the world, including the prestigious Holmes à Court Collection, SGIO, Sir Charles Gardner Hospital Collection, and Fremantle Council Art Collection, as well as in private collections in France, Morocco, England, the United States, and Australia.

Krim Benterrak’s work will be featured as part of a collective exhibition at Agora Gallery from July 7 to July 28, 2015. The opening exhibition will be held on Thursday, July 9, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Agora Gallery is located at 530 West 25th Street in Chelsea and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.

Originally posted in: Blouin Art Info - Summer, 2015

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