Shifting between incredibly thick, buttery impastos and thin veils of oil wash, smooth expanses nearly free of perceptible brushstrokes and almost bare surfaces marked only with compositional frameworks, Fountain coaxes diverse aesthetic experiences out of painting's basic elements. His representational works depict austere, monochromatic still lifes- small bottles, a piece of fruit, a draped length of fabric- that nod to 20th century European painters like Giorgio Morandi and Ewan Uglow. While the contrasts between these works are apparent, Fountain asks us to consider their similarities: Luminosity can be achieved with both the opaque and the permeable, equally served as a silky ice-green panel, a tarlike black canvas or a thin umber glaze; a group of objects and an almost-unpainted surface can both act as studies in unadorned composition and restraint.
Benny Fountain received his BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR in 2005, and MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 2008, through which he also studied in Rome, Italy. Currently, he teaches drawing and 2D design at Baylor University, Waco, TX.
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