Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art is pleased to present Ben Schonzeit: Edibles.
Opening Reception: April 20th 6-8pm.
In these extraordinary works created between 2009 and 2012, the artist forms a synthesis of Photorealism and color field painting. His brightly hued vivacious arrays of fruits, vegetables, and sweets are painted with an unparalleled perfection that exponentially exceeds his 1970's accomplishments. The tightly cropped images reveal his unmatched skill as a photographer; the paintings present an illusion of space that is trompe l’oeil perfect. Schonzeit captures the essence of each of his subjects with visual brilliance and delight. Color in these new paintings is infinitely more juicy and seductive than in the paintings of the 1970s.
Ben Schonzeit's technical contribution to Photorealism was his pioneering use of the airbrush. Today, decades later, he remains the virtuoso of the tool; his new paintings are even more exquisitely executed than the ground-breaking works he created in the 1970's, interpreting the genre with a new vision.
To complement his skill honed and refined over 40 years, Schonzeit also incorporates traditional brushstrokes in these works while introducing a new canvas made of polyester. Prepared with several layers of gesso, the Formica-smooth polyester surface enables Schonzeit to achieve unmatched perfection and a visceral reality.
The catalyst for this series was the 2009 exhibition Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970's at the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin. When Schonzeit saw his vintage works after so many years, he realized that "I wasn't finished with Photorealism.”
Schonzeit was one of the original thirteen Photorealists identified by the visionary art dealer Louis Meisel. It was Meisel who coined the definitive art historical term "Photorealism" in 1968.
It is rare that an artist surpasses the achievements by which he made his reputation. Ben Schonzeit is one of those rarities.