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Fletcher BENTON


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“I could be dealing with sculpture in such a heavy way that it could create a great sort of mystery, and people could stand there and look at it and write into it whatever they needed to get out of it. I'm not that way. {What} I am working toward, I suppose, if we must speak the truth, is the child in every person. A certain innocence, and a certain classical sense of order.” - Fletcher Benton 1989 (Interview with Archives of American Art)

Born in Jackson, Ohio, 1931, Benton earned his BFA at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, 1956. He arrived to San Francisco in the midst of the Beat Movement and Benton’s early paintings are noticeably inspired by this artistic and social mileu. He worked as a sign painter, which provided him with a familiarity of the alphabetical shapes which arise in his later work. Rather than working from sketches or drawings, Benton creates a series of maquettes to explore the geometry and visual power of the composition in steel. Balance, perception, kinetic energy and movement all inspire Benton’s various series utilizing rods, balls, sheets, boxes and edges of metal. Additionally, Benton taught at San Francisco Art Institute from 1966 to 1967, when he left to teach at California State University, San Jose, where he stayed until 1986. He went on to win many awards and honors including The Liftetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center in New Jersey in 2008.