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Karl Benjamin

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July 26, 2012 | By David Ng
Karl Benjamin, the celebrated Los Angeles painter, has died at 86. The artist died Thursday of congestive heart failure at his home in Claremont, said his daughter Beth Marie Benjamin.  Benjamin created paintings that experimented in different ways with bold color and various shapes. He was categorized as an Abstract Classicist in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that ran in the late '50s. His works were also described as "hard-edged," an art term that describes works in which colors and shapes are starkly juxtaposed.  Benjamin's career had its ups and downs, with his work going out of fashion in the '70s and '80s.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has acquired works to fill a gallery space set to open in July 2014 that will be devoted to geometric abstraction and pop art. Made possible by an anonymous donation, two of the works are by the late minimalist, Tony Smith. “For W.A.” is an 1969 abstract bronze sculpture in two parts, each a five-foot-high “rhombic prism,” as the Huntington calls the dark, velvety-looking blocks. The other Smith work, untitled, is an abstract oil on canvas, in deep green and red tones, that the artist made in 1960.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2012 | Suzanne Muchnic, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Karl Benjamin, a painter of dazzling geometric abstractions who established a national reputation in 1959 as one of four Los Angeles-based Abstract Classicists and created a highly acclaimed body of work that celebrates the glories of color in all its variations, has died. He was 86. Benjamin died Thursday of congestive heart failure at his home in Claremont, said his daughter Beth Marie Benjamin. His work had been displayed last year in "Karl Benjamin and the Evolution of the Abstraction, 1950-1980" at the Louis Stern Fine Arts gallery in West Hollywood as part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time exhibitions.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2012 | By David Ng
The fields of art and architecture lost several notable names in 2012. The most high-profile death was that of Thomas Kinkade, the self-anointed “Painter of Light” who died in April at 58 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. Kinkade gained a worldwide following for his paintings of cozy cottages and serene landscapes, but he was reviled by critics and most serious art connoisseurs. In Los Angeles, the year began on a sad note with the apparent suicide of Mike Kelley.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2007 | Christopher Knight, Times Staff Writer
The new Claremont Museum of Art made just the right choice for its inaugural exhibition. Tightly organized and lovely to look at, the 42-year survey of 42 paintings (and one drawing) by Karl Benjamin honors the leading artist of the museum's home city. Benjamin arrived in Claremont in 1952, a young public school teacher who had recently begun to paint, and in 1994 he retired from Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University as the schools' most distinguished art professor.
NEWS
January 22, 2004 | David Pagel
Karl Benjamin enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in 1959 when the term "hard edge" was coined to describe his paintings in the LACMA exhibit, "Four Abstract Classicists." Benjamin's paintings are so chockablock with wonky colors and eccentric shapes that it's hard to imagine anyone linking them to the balance, rationality and restraint typically inspired by the ancients. And yet "Karl Benjamin: Paintings From 1950 to 1965" shows him to be an American original.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1987
I find it perplexing that Cunliffe feels so put upon. At age 54, she retires with an income of $58,000 a year, plus $10,412 in vacation pay and $17,350 for unused sick leave. When I retired after 29 years of teaching in Southern California public schools, I received, in 1980 and at the age of 55, $7,260 a year. No pluses, although I had lots of unused sick leave. Now I must confess that the figure has swelled to $8,088, the 11% raise--over seven years, mind you--reflecting our generous built-in cost of living increase (we old teachers call it our un-COLA)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1996 | Christopher Knight
In addition to being the first major Modernist artist to emerge in postwar Los Angeles, John McLaughlin (1898-1976) also fertilized the local cultural landscape in two fundamental ways. First, when the legendary exhibition "Four Abstract Classicists" (McLaughlin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and Karl Benjamin) traveled from the L.A. County Museum to London in 1959, the show gave Los Angeles its first coherent claim to international significance as a center for modern art. And second, McLaughlin's elegantly spare geometric abstractions established a rigorous aesthetic of perceptual refinement, which became a hallmark of art produced in L.A. From the acclaimed Light-and-Space installations of the 1960s and 1970s to John M. Miller's luminous paintings today, McLaughlin is their great forebear.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has acquired works to fill a gallery space set to open in July 2014 that will be devoted to geometric abstraction and pop art. Made possible by an anonymous donation, two of the works are by the late minimalist, Tony Smith. “For W.A.” is an 1969 abstract bronze sculpture in two parts, each a five-foot-high “rhombic prism,” as the Huntington calls the dark, velvety-looking blocks. The other Smith work, untitled, is an abstract oil on canvas, in deep green and red tones, that the artist made in 1960.
NEWS
October 12, 2012 | By Craig Nakano
Last-minute suggestion for a weekend diversion: Claremont Heritage's annual home tour on Sunday. The event last year was memorable, providing peeks inside a 1959 Richard Neutra design, the post-and-beam of celebrated painter Karl Benjamin and the art-filled house of Harrison McIntosh, the noted ceramist who, in his late 90s, charmed visitors at his home studio. This year's tour will feature houses along Indian Hill Boulevard - Tudor, Craftsman, Foursquare , English cottage and what Claremont Heritage Executive Director David Shearer described as New Orleans Mediterranean.
NEWS
October 12, 2012 | By Craig Nakano
Last-minute suggestion for a weekend diversion: Claremont Heritage's annual home tour on Sunday. The event last year was memorable, providing peeks inside a 1959 Richard Neutra design, the post-and-beam of celebrated painter Karl Benjamin and the art-filled house of Harrison McIntosh, the noted ceramist who, in his late 90s, charmed visitors at his home studio. This year's tour will feature houses along Indian Hill Boulevard - Tudor, Craftsman, Foursquare , English cottage and what Claremont Heritage Executive Director David Shearer described as New Orleans Mediterranean.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2012 | By David Ng
Karl Benjamin, the celebrated Los Angeles painter, has died at 86. The artist died Thursday of congestive heart failure at his home in Claremont, said his daughter Beth Marie Benjamin.  Benjamin created paintings that experimented in different ways with bold color and various shapes. He was categorized as an Abstract Classicist in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that ran in the late '50s. His works were also described as "hard-edged," an art term that describes works in which colors and shapes are starkly juxtaposed.  Benjamin's career had its ups and downs, with his work going out of fashion in the '70s and '80s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2012 | Suzanne Muchnic, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Karl Benjamin, a painter of dazzling geometric abstractions who established a national reputation in 1959 as one of four Los Angeles-based Abstract Classicists and created a highly acclaimed body of work that celebrates the glories of color in all its variations, has died. He was 86. Benjamin died Thursday of congestive heart failure at his home in Claremont, said his daughter Beth Marie Benjamin. His work had been displayed last year in "Karl Benjamin and the Evolution of the Abstraction, 1950-1980" at the Louis Stern Fine Arts gallery in West Hollywood as part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time exhibitions.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2007 | Christopher Knight, Times Staff Writer
The new Claremont Museum of Art made just the right choice for its inaugural exhibition. Tightly organized and lovely to look at, the 42-year survey of 42 paintings (and one drawing) by Karl Benjamin honors the leading artist of the museum's home city. Benjamin arrived in Claremont in 1952, a young public school teacher who had recently begun to paint, and in 1994 he retired from Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University as the schools' most distinguished art professor.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2004 | David Pagel, Special to The Times
David Ryan does for medium-density fiberboard what Einstein did for physics: turn its principles inside-out to describe a world far more fascinating than the one that preceded it. At first it's tempting to think of the young artist's abstract paintings in terms of custom paint jobs on hot cars. Both are slick, flashy and impeccable in the perfectionism of their subtly understated color combinations or screamingly high-keyed finishes.
NEWS
January 22, 2004 | David Pagel
Karl Benjamin enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in 1959 when the term "hard edge" was coined to describe his paintings in the LACMA exhibit, "Four Abstract Classicists." Benjamin's paintings are so chockablock with wonky colors and eccentric shapes that it's hard to imagine anyone linking them to the balance, rationality and restraint typically inspired by the ancients. And yet "Karl Benjamin: Paintings From 1950 to 1965" shows him to be an American original.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2012 | By David Ng
The fields of art and architecture lost several notable names in 2012. The most high-profile death was that of Thomas Kinkade, the self-anointed “Painter of Light” who died in April at 58 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. Kinkade gained a worldwide following for his paintings of cozy cottages and serene landscapes, but he was reviled by critics and most serious art connoisseurs. In Los Angeles, the year began on a sad note with the apparent suicide of Mike Kelley.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2004 | David Pagel, Special to The Times
David Ryan does for medium-density fiberboard what Einstein did for physics: turn its principles inside-out to describe a world far more fascinating than the one that preceded it. At first it's tempting to think of the young artist's abstract paintings in terms of custom paint jobs on hot cars. Both are slick, flashy and impeccable in the perfectionism of their subtly understated color combinations or screamingly high-keyed finishes.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2004 | David Pagel, Special to The Times
Karl Benjamin enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in 1959, when critic Jules Langsner coined the term "hard edge" to describe his paintings along with those of Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin, which he included in a legendary exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art titled "Four Abstract Classicists." Langsner was right on the money with his "hard edge" definition. But how he came up with the idea of classicism is anyone's guess.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1996 | Christopher Knight
In addition to being the first major Modernist artist to emerge in postwar Los Angeles, John McLaughlin (1898-1976) also fertilized the local cultural landscape in two fundamental ways. First, when the legendary exhibition "Four Abstract Classicists" (McLaughlin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and Karl Benjamin) traveled from the L.A. County Museum to London in 1959, the show gave Los Angeles its first coherent claim to international significance as a center for modern art. And second, McLaughlin's elegantly spare geometric abstractions established a rigorous aesthetic of perceptual refinement, which became a hallmark of art produced in L.A. From the acclaimed Light-and-Space installations of the 1960s and 1970s to John M. Miller's luminous paintings today, McLaughlin is their great forebear.
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