In the fall of 2011, Sim and I flew home for my sister’s wedding. We had two nights in NYC and this allowed a run-through of the most famous galleries in the world– in the Cheslea neighborhood of Manhattan. Not that famous always equates with quality. I usually walk in and out of half of those galleries in under a minute– the quiet, concrete floor, air-conditioned sterility makes it extremely easy to judge right off if I like the artist’s work. There is always the video installation that is confusing. There is the gallery attendant who either greets you warmly or (more likely) stares down at her monitor. But I have always found at least one show that captivated me and reinvigorated the spark inside that makes me want to be a better artist. I look for paintings, drawings, things made by hand. This trip was no different…
Trudy Benson’s solo show at the Mike Weiss gallery in 2011 knocked me over. It was an appreciation of formal qualities of paint, basically abstract expressionism, but with the freshness that accompanies a recently graffitied wall or smartphone update. She applies paint straight from the tube, hurling it, spraying it, rubbing it, etc- -and what is left is topography-creating-composition, drawing you closer and closer in awe at the sheer volume of material.
When I asked, as I always do of shows I like, ” how is it selling?” I was relieved to hear, “SOLD OUT.”
In this interview with Benson, she answers questions on inspiration (space images!), masculine mystique (or lack thereof), and process.
See installation images from Trudy Benson’s 2013 solo show here.
Read the NYTimes’s review on Benson’s solo show in 2013 at Horton Gallery here.