An American contemporary artist, Matthew Benedict has developed a new visual language that confronts visual traditions from both high and low culture. Following the tradition of classical history painting, he creates large size and narrative allusions in which all the elements are an analogy, referring to something beyond themselves.
Born in 1968, Rockville, Connecticut, Benedict studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the New School for Social Research, New York. He has had several exhibitions of his paintings and sculptures at Alexander and Bonin, New York and Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich. In 2008, a large survey exhibition of Benedict’s work was presented at the Von der Heydt-Museum/Kunsthalle Barmen, Wuppertal. Benedict’s works are included in the permanent collections of the FRAC de Picardie, Amiens; Dallas Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the NASA Art Program, Washington, DC.
Often working from photographs, Benedict creates paintings that relay archetypal or mythological narratives. Mostly gouaches on wood and paper, these works are characterized by reduced, bold and simple color schemes, evoking illustrations in popular history or adventure books.
Featured image: Matthew Benedict - The Lookout (Study for "The Sea Cook"), 2017 (detail). Pencil, gouache and spray paint on paper. 19 7/10 × 20 1/2 in. 50 × 52 cm. Photo courtesy Mai 36 Galerie