An extended trip to India had a profound effect on the young artist with the country’s culture, religions and sheer mass of humanity, along with a crippling bout of Dengi Fever, deeply influencing both his personal philosophy and artistic output.
The progression of Kenning’s work is very much process driven, with the multiple questions, revelations and possibilities arising from one abstracted, figurative work informing and propelling the next. While experimentation abounds it is contained and unified by a consistency of purpose and vision.
At times the artist has flirted with colour but for this exhibition of paintings and wooden sculptures he has chosen to concentrate his efforts through the use of only black and white and all the greys between. Despite these self-imposed limitations the works maintain a freshness and vitality that to many would seem impossible when restricted by such tight boundaries.
High-contrast, graphic energy is counterbalanced by much calmer journeys into atmospheric seas of nuanced, tonal shifts while geometric, patterned works perform energetic dances with each other and their lyrical, calligraphic neighbours.
Ben Kenning’s work is deeply rooted in art history with artists such as Ian Fairweather and Keith Haring often referenced and acknowledged but with each successive body of paintings and sculptures Ben continues to develop and assert his own artistic identity through an unswerving dedication to his vision and ceaseless application to the tasks of his art making.
‘Black & White’, an exhibition by Ben Kenning opens at Cooks Hill Galleries 6-8pm Friday 1 June, 2018. More information, RSVP and invite your friends here.
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