Benny Merris


11-01-2009 - 08-02-2009
Opening: 11-01-2009 from 16:00 - 18:00
Rotterdam, front room
"The space that surrounds us is the shape that allows us to pass between". Daniel Higgs

Benny Merris' paintings are portraits of joyous confusion. Abstract forms emerge from geometric, graphic and architectural shapes. Perspective and pattern slowly carve out contours. Spectral and tonal gradations define an illusory space. Deep, waxy colors summon lucid yet subtle reflections of our bodies. The physical body of the painting is a vessel for the psychedelic headspace that abounds as we travel through unspeakable complexity almost taking form. The eyes are bombarded with seductive and jarring color. We swim through layer upon layer of paint that tirelessly oscillates between concentrated and dispersed states. Musical dynamism is the élan vital of these paintings. They are a perceptual and poetic jungle gym where Eastern and Western painting traditions riff off one another. Modernism challenges us in the West to strip away the unnecessary and distil a painting towards some fantastical, essential purity. Conversely, Islamic and Tibetan paintings revel in ornate decoration and hyper density. Merris combines and collides these minimal and maximal compulsions in hopes of finding strange, beautiful and uncharted harmony.