at Ro2 Art through February 29th
by Todd Camplin
Benjamin Terry’s solo exhibition at Ro2 shows a further development of his style and musing on
his self-portrait. Though crowed on the walls, Terry’s paintings commanded attention in thei
r muted white brush stroke that seems to cloud each painting into a misty faded world. Ro2
West Village gallery has a more salon style or close quarter hanging approach. I prefer the
more formal white cube museum style, but Ro2’s informal shows are still quite inviting.
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|I have been following Terry’s work since his time as an undergraduate. He was part of a student
show I curated at the University of North Texas in the Cora Stafford Gallery. Terry was producing
paintings of his friends. I was first hit by his process of concealing and revealing. The painting style
looked purposefully unfinished; much like a Cezanne painting, Terry allows the background
colors to peek through parts of the figure. His backgrounds used bright solid colors that were
spatially balanced with the figure.
At this current show, Terry focuses on multiple self-portraits in each painting. He has been working
like a cubist painter, capturing moments in time in one composition. Only his misty images seem
to reflect the memory of time, rather than a photographic documentation of time. This way,
time is tied up in the mind and perception. Memory is less solid and closer to a quantum
understanding of time and space. Terry is portraying himself as there/not there, much like
Schrodinger's cat. Even the blank painted out areas have the potential of Terry having
|In this body of work, Terry has pulled out even more color than usual. These paintings rely heavily
on whites and creams to edit out the picture or dissolve the self all together. I have said before
this stripping away of color limits the emotional content and forces you to focus on the content
of the figures, but these works also step further into isolating the figure into a single entity. I’m not
sure how far Terry can push the emotional draining of color, before everything disappears.
If you want to see his installation piece, drop by his show at the Lago Vista Gallery in Richland
College. Benjamin Terry breaks out of the rectangle with a sight specific piece that violently
intersects with his self portrait. You will also find an exciting work by Giovanni Valderas. Ro2’s
presentation of Benjamin Terry’s paintings will be up until February 29th, while his piece at
Richland College will be up until March 29th.
|Coral Snake, 2011, graphite and enamel on wood
|'Not Really There' - 48"x52" Graphite and Enamel on Wood Panel