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Claus Mueller


Claus Mueller is a Film Festival Ambassador to filmfestivals.com

He is based in New York where he covers the festival scene.


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New York: Fletcher Benton at the Yares Art Gallery

Born and raised in an iron producing area of Jackson, Ohio in 1931, Fletcher Benton’s eclectic formative years included military service, time as a sign painter, studies in painting and fine art at Miami University, as well as teaching and exploring modes of visual presentations. He first gained recognition for his unique kinetic work.  After shifting his focus on bronze and steel sculptures which are now included in numerous American and European collections his international reputation was further  reaffirmed by reviews in many publications.  He received a Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Culture Award and an honorary doctorate from Miami University.

 

From January 19 – February 23 2019, the New York Yares Art Gallery showed the superb FLETCHER BENTON A-Z exhibition, the second presentation of Benton’s work by the gallery. The exhibition consisted of Benton’s sequential work: Folded Circle Series, Folded Square Alphabet Series, Steel Watercolor Series, his Kinetic Works and a large number of individual pieces. The works encompassed close to 50 year of Benton’s art. The gallery had select pieces from his 1970’s Kinetic Works, though most of the work exhibited was from 2008 to 2018.  Close to 45 works were in the exhibition, including the massive 73 x 36 x 45 Stainless Steel No.5 Donut sculpture as well as superbly executed Steel Construct No.11 and No.12 measuring 20 x 20 x 4 inches. The large sculpture was priced at $150,000 and the smaller pieces at $18,000 each. Sales exceeded expectations with Benton’s works of art from the exhibition sold for more than what they garnered at auctions. It seems that the Yares Art gallery belongs to the small number of galleries that serve the highest levels of the art market, driven by a small group of wealthy buyers and investors. This success is achieved in spite of the fact that auction houses have had better sales than art galleries overall and that the bottom, middle and top of the art market are stagnating.

The three dimensional execution of Benton’s sculptures allow ready access because the visual configuration embedded in their shapes and openness gives different perspective from each angle. Many of the sculptures were painted bright colors. In the water color series, white, black, and grey paint were applied with accents and bold contrasts. The abstract shapes of the sculptures and the painterly touches certainly impressed. There is no flatness or closure in Benton’s sculptures, rather he is opening the sense of viewing and liberates visual perspectives, or in his words “...in my work, there has been a common note struck, whether through a stroke, through a sense of chiaroscuro, a sense of color…”

Claus Mueller    filmexchange@gmail.com

 

 

 

About Claus Mueller

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