Benjamin Gardner’s Songs of the Night, Fluxx Gallery
Amy O’Shaughnessy and Julia Frey at the opening.
September 18, 2012
At Fluxx during the September First Friday, Jordan and his ladynarf were typically eager and excited to welcome viewers and artist Benjamin Gardner alike.
Drake University drawing professor Gardner made a series of paintings and assemblages based on… I think the lack of community and religion and myth in our society. He says his work is ABOUT that which is fictionally religious, but I felt more like his work was searching for order in chaos.
the dustcatcher, 2012, acrylic, cardboard, styrene, ink, wood, tape, 21” x 18”
That said, existential dilemma or no, his work is compelling. Sculptures and paintings, large, small, Gardner uses raw, found wood and fabric in addition with pigments to build apocryphal works.
Installation shot of Songs of the Night
Especially powerful are his series on paper, featuring heavy use of blacks, fluorescent color, and splotchy, physically visible blobs of paint.
As a whole, his works read as a low-tech interpretation of the universe. Of being. I LIKED IT.