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Dwellings: New works by Christopher Benson, Tom Birkner and Peri Schwartz at Gerald Peters Gallery
Christopher Benson, Roswell 2, oil on linen, 10 x 14 inches. Images © 2013, courtesy Gerald Peters Gallery.

SANTA FE, NM.- The Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, announces an exhibition of new works by artists Christopher Benson, Tom Birkner and Peri Schwartz. Entitled, Dwellings, the exhibition of oil paintings opens for viewing July 26th with a free, public, gallery reception from 5:00 to 7:00m.

Benson presents six new oil-­‐on-­‐linen cityscapes of southern New Mexico, in a departure from his well-­‐known and more recent interiors. Yet each of these new cityscapes reflects a continuing focus on composition and structure of the painting. Benson says, “I’m fascinated with the place where that sloppy life of organic world intersects with the static planes and lines and built environments of human architecture and artifacts…Those structures that feel so permanent to us are intrinsically transient, while the cycles of life itself are ongoing.”

Benson holds a B.F.A in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and was the 2001-­‐2002 recipient of the Pollock-­‐Krasner Foundation Painting Fellowship.

Birkner’s long time interest in suburban America has led him to paint malls, cars and high school sport games. A realist painter, Birkner’s recent body of work captures other overlooked subjects in art. Turnpikes and roadside cafés dominate Brikner’s new paintings, all of which are painted with an overriding hue setting the tone for these discreet and intriguing works. Birkner says, “My work has a tendency to have a psychological charge to it, even if it’s quiet…but there is a suggestion that something is going to happen. And that’s what I love about Italian masters’ work, which is so emotional. My stuff ties into that.” Birkner’s work is collected and exhibited internationally. When he is not in the studio, Birkner teaches at Parsons he New School for Design, New York, NY.

Schwartz’s new paintings of her studio interior are rhythmical works, which express the artist’s continuing investigation of the dynamics of composition. In these paintings, Schwartz depicts both depth and form while playing with the simple objects found in her studio. Bottles, jars, her drafting table and books are all arranged and rearranged until Schwartz finds the perfect balance and composition.

“My process involves looking at my model, observing how its lines match up with my grid, and adjusting the model. When I begin painting, I‘ll play with the subject, adjust the model again, play with the subject, and on and on until I’m 100% comfortable with beginning a final comprehensive work,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz’s work is in numerous public collections including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

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