BILLY AL BENGSTON
It Hit the Fan
September 28 - November 3, 2012
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, September 28, 2012 5:00 - 7:00 pm

BILLY AL BENGSTON

Billy Al Bengston has been a part of the Venice Beach scene in California since the late 1950s. He was one of the early artists of the important Ferus Gallery along with Ken Price, John Altoon, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Ed Kienholz and Ed Moses. Best known for his various symbols such as sergeant stripes, iris flowers (referred to as Draculas by his friend Ken Price) and anthuriums, which became his personal signatures and characterized his artwork for decades. Bengston started working in clay, but switched to painting on canvas, metal and paper and creating collages. He is a serious artist, but never takes himself too seriously. Focusing on his signature icons creates a readily available device, partly eliminating the need for compositional decisions and allowing him to critically explore painting, while seemingly poking fun at some aspect of contemporary culture or consumerism. Bengston’s art, for the most part, is indescribable and after five decades maybe that has been his grand plan, to keep us guessing and wondering, what is the point—maybe there is no point other than challenging viewers and critics alike to just LOOK, ask a question, but decide for themselves what the message might be. Abstract and colorful, infused with wacky imagery, his art is never slick, maybe a bit irreverent, but always humorous and painterly with brushstrokes, drips, personal touches and a bit of kitsch.

This exhibition is not only the gallery’s first solo show for Bengston, but the first presentation of a series of paintings he produced from 1992-1994. Like much of his art, and as the title might suggest, this body of work spawned from a personal aspect of his life. Conceptually, it is classic Bengston, but with new imagery—a heavy dose of iridescent paint, psychedelia, island culture and large undefined blobs flying through the air—giving one the sense of looking at earth from outer space through a meteor shower. Bengston frequently referred to this series of paintings as “human comedies.” So, once again, leaving us to our own imaginations.


Represented Artists

Akalia Akalia
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
24 x 36 inches
 
Loke Loke
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
76 x 89 inches
 
Lipe Lipe
1992
36 x 60 inches
 
UNTITLED( Six Heads) UNTITLED( Six Heads)
charcoal or graphite
unknown
8.25 x 9 inches
 
Meipela Meipela
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
48 x 60 inches
 
Hakela Hakela
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
48 x 60 inches
 
Paliki Paliki
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
48 x 60 inches
 
Bringing Up Baby Bringing Up Baby
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
48 x 60 inches
 
Kini Kini
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
48 x 48 inches
 
Ulalia Ulalia
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1993
36 x 48 inches
 
Minewa Minewa
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
36 x 42 inches
 
Oliwia Oliwia
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
36 x 42 inches
 
Malakina Malakina
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
24 x 36 inches
 
Ewanekelina Ewanekelina
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
24 x 30 inches
 
Lala Lala
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1992
24 x 28 inches
 
Palapala Palapala
Acrylic on canvas over panel
1994
24 x 24 inches
 
Arricife San Diego Draculas Arricife San Diego Draculas
Acrylic on canvas
1974
104 x 69 inches
 
Honolulu Watercolor_ June Honolulu Watercolor, June
Watercolor on paper
1994
15 x 22 1/4 inches
 
Honolulu Watercolor_ September Honolulu Watercolor, September
Watercolor on paper
1994
15 x 12 inches
 
Honolulu Watercolor_ July Honolulu Watercolor, July
Watercolor
1994
19 x 15 inches
 
Honolulu Watercolor_ September 2 Honolulu Watercolor, September 2
Watercolor
1994
15 x 12 inches
 

David Richard Gallery, LLC
211 East 121st Street, New York, NY 10035 | p (212) 882-1705
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday or by appointment

1570 Pacheco Street, A1, Santa Fe, NM 87505 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, or by appointment


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