Though few in number, and individually quite small, the largest work measures 14″ x 14″, the eight paintings in the show demonstrate a vitality that belies their size. Consisting of thickly textured areas of dark, though never quite “black”, paint and areas where the canvas support is visible through vibrant and carefully contrasting hues, each work holds a considerable amount of visual space. The contrasts, or “shifts” as Meisner likes to call them, of color and texture activate the surface and, in the artist’s words again, “maximize the potential color interaction.”
Their physical bearing, also, is central to Meisner’s consideration and technique:
“The works exist as paintings, as objects that appeal to vision, but they are equally objects existing in space and call attention to their own mass, surface, texture, weight, etc. The relationships between optical and physical surface qualities are often further complicated by the handling of the paint, making it difficult to determine how the paint has been applied and in what order the layers have progressed over the development of the work.”
Ben Meisner was born in Taos, New Mexico. He is an artist, curator, and co-founder of GENERATOR, a project space in Albuquerque, NM. An alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he was also an E.B. Stoeckel Fellow in the Norfolk program at Yale University. He has worked for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, most recently assisting in the conservation of Donald Judd’s outdoor concrete works. In 2010, he was a resident artist in Berlin where he began experimenting with sculpture and developed many of the ideas that have taken shape in his most recent work.