“A painting begins with painting not an idea.” Julia Benz distinctively refers to her painting work and painting, insisting on the pleasure of painting from a position that falls out of the conceptual planning to delight in the act of painting itself. Trained at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Universität der Künste Berlin, the city where she lives, Benz remembers when at the age of three she was fascinated by a painting by Cezanne and how a later family reunion with that same work confirmed her calling.
From Cézanne comes her resistance to the motif of painting, the insistence on painting it again and again to try to unravel its substance through the signs, perhaps repeated but never the same, reveals a different shade of the objects, of the gesture itself, of an imagined landscape between the still life and the daily observation of the city.
It is a kind of jungle that is ordered on an abstract basis referring to the same growth and development of nature, organically, overlapping elements and layers, shapes and strokes in a wild amalgam where the materiality of painting and its strong chromatism stands out.
Contrasting with the apparent chaos of stains, glitter and vegetable memories (plants, leaves), the synthesis of graphs, plots and formal elements that the marker emphasizes and the geometric planes she displays with a non-uniform intensity from the center of the compositions that recall cubism and the words of Juan Gris: “To paint is to anticipate, to foresee what happens in the whole of the painting introducing such form or such color.”
Thus it seems that these compositions are orchestrated, following the very rules of a wild jungle expression that sometimes extends over the walls in the way of an installation and over buildings. Surely Benz would agree with Jackson Pollock when he said: “If people would leave their preconceived ideas home and just look at the paintings, I don’t think they would have any trouble enjoying them. It’s like looking at a bed of flowers, you don’t tear your hair out over what it means.”
Universitat Politécnica de Valencia
OPENING FRIDAY 5 MAY 20:00h.
5 May – 9 June
Tuesday – Saturday
17:00 – 21:00h
©2023 Julia Benz