Benjamin King

I bully and beg my way through my work. The process is improvisational within finite rules. My intention is to depict something more than just a likeness, a compression of of the phenomenological. My paintings walk a line between figurative painting and abstraction. The physicality of the surface and the cartoon-like simplification of the imagery undermines seeing the work as only a landscape painting. Brushstrokes and textures mimic the feeling of nature more than they literally describe it. It is like there are two separate systems of logic at work; one defined by familiar symbols for nature and the landscape and another logic that is an intuitive sequencing of material decisions that together construct a visual architecture that can hold complex meaning. I create approximations of seen things, then combine them in ways that have overlapping meaning. The meaning of the work relies not on one single condition or reading, but on our ability to effortlessly process a confluence of meanings generated by the same piece. This circuitry of relationships is a way to make things that outwardly seem familiar, but upon further inspection become very unfamiliar and intersting. My process is dependent on incorporating my immediate consciousness as the force which acts upon a given work. I’m looking for strategies to step outside myself in order to allow improvisation to guide the creation of an object. Making this work is like trying to recall a memory where the majority of the visual detail and narrative have been lost or obscured, but for some reason the memory is still there. I am trying to capture a visual compression of those images and sensations retained by the mind.




Solo Exhibitions

Ober Gallery, Kent, CT (upcoming October)
Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca (upcoming December)

Four AM, New York, NY Benjamin King

Arts & Leisure, New York, NY Simple Mountain
Longhouse Projects, New York, NY  Abdolreza Aminlari and Benjamin King
Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca Various Deposits

Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca  You are Leaving

Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca  White Sparkle

Century 900 Gallery, Chicago, IL  Surface and Story


Group Exhibitions

HKJB, New York, NY Temple of Vates
Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca Out of Town
Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY I Am What I Am Not Yet

Zürcher Studio, New York, NY Salon Zürcher booth with Laroche/Joncas
C2C Project Space, San Francisco, CA  Abstraction Naturally
Drive-by Projects, Watertown, MA Event of the Line
Underdonk, New York, NY Genesis Forward Battery

Laroche/Joncas, New York, NY  Summer Show
Jordana Zeldin, New York, NY  Earthly Pleasures
Tiffany Calvert, Henry Samelson and Mark Joshua Epstein, New York, NY P.I.L.F.
Collective Show, Mexico City, Mx  Collective Show Mx

Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca  Upside Downturn
The Dirty Dirty, New York, NY,  On the Fence
The Atlantic Conference, curated by Matt Jones, New York, NY  The Final Frontier
EJ Hauser and Rob Nadeau, New York, NY  Wavers
Bruce High Quality Foundation / Vito Schnabel, New York, NY  Brucennial 2012

Limerick-Frazier Gallery, Austin TX  Trans Medium
ART BLOG ART BLOG, New York, NY  Snowclones
Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca  Group Show
HKJB, New York, NY  Control Alt Delete
Bronx River Art Center, New York, NY  The Working Title

Participant Inc., New York, NY The Collective Show
University of Chicago,DOVA Temp, Chicago, IL A Selection from a Decade of Painting at the Department of Visual Arts
Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA It’s My World
Second Home Projects, Berlin, Ge Born to Die
Kumukumu Gallery, curated by Mako Wakasa, New York, NY Landscape and Solitude
Fortress to Solitude, New York, NY Bushwick Schlact
HKJB, New York, NY Portable Caves
Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA Paper Awesome

ACME, Los Angeles, CA  Seasonal Pictures
Projecx MTL, Montreal, Ca  Brut
Dvorak Sec Contemporary, Prague, Cz  A Taste of Young New York
Silver Shed, New York, NY  ABCyz Benefit Show
Apartment Show, Envoy Enterprises, New York, NY  Joshua Smith's B-Day Party
The Painting Center, New York, NY  25/35
Fortress to Solitude, New York, NY  A Painting Show
HKJB, New York, NY  Personal Abstraction
Rogue Space, New York, NY  Ft2

Artists Space, New York, NY  Night of a 1000 Drawings
Prince St Gallery, New York, NY  Small Works Show

David and Alfred Smart Museum, Chicago IL  Student Show
University of Chicago, Franke Institute, Chicago, IL  Narrative Purgatory
University of Chicago, Department of Visual Arts, Chicago, IL  11 Pack


Curatorial Projects

HKJB, Underdonk, New York, NY  Genesis Forward Battery

HKJB, The Sphinx, New York, NY  End Times (upcoming)
Collective Show, Mexico City, Mx  Collective Show Mx

HKJB, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montreal, Ca  Upside Downturn

ARTBLOGARTBLOG, co-curated with Rob Nadaeu, New York, NY  Snowclones
HKJB, New York, NY  Control Alt Delete
HKJB, New York, NY  Pieced Together

Participant Inc., New York, NY  Collective Show
HKJB, New York, NY  Portable Caves
Collective Show, Silver Shed, New York, NY  ABCYZ

HKJB, New York, NY  Bad Graphic Design
HKJB, New York, NY  Personal Abstraction


Grants and Awards

Edward F. Albee Foundation



2005 MFA - University of Chicago
2000 BFA - School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1999 The International School, Umbria, Italy



Fisher, Michelle Millar. “Abdolreza Aminlari and Benjamin King” ARTnews, Summer 2014

Kohler, William. “Benjamin King at Longhouse Projects” Huffington Post, April 11, 2014

Romashevskaya, Irina. “Longhouse Projects Abdolreza Aminlari and Benjamin King.” Nu Mode Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014: 193

Samelson, Henry. “Benjamin King; Studio Visit” Buddy of Work, April 1, 2013

Rosati, Lauren and Staniszewski, Mary Anne. Alternative Histories New York Art Spaces 1960-2010 Co published by EXIT Art and The MIT Press, pp. 368 – 369

New York Post Modern, “NYC Painters Take Montreal: HKJB @ LAROCHE/JONCAS” September 6, 2012

Forget, Betina. “You are Leaving – Benjamin King at Laroche/Joncas" The Belgo Report, April 24, 2012

Smith, Matthew, “Progress Report: Q&A with Kris Chatterson and Vince Contarino" New American Paintings, October 20, 2011

Russeth, Andrew. “Control Alt Delete: A One-Night HKJB Show in Bushwick” 16 Miles of String, June 2, 2011

Skene, Cameron. “Benjamin King” Border Crossings, Issue 117, March - May 2011

Crest, Russ. “Benjamin King Is Into The Wild” Beautiful Decay, March 29, 2011

Chatterson, Kris. “Benjamin King / Studio Visit” Progress Report, August 26, 2010

Bamberger, Alan. “Baer Ridgway, Marx & Zavaterro, NOMA, Artzone 461, James Snidle, Misho”, July 24, 2010

Warner, Emily. “Making Space” NYFA Current, June 13, 2009

Warner, Emily. “Art Minus Gallery: 'Personal Abstraction' in Sunset Park” Bomblog, May 11, 2009


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