Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas and Paper
Pamela Benham reveals about her current painting: I paint now without needing to know where I’m going. I begin with no plan, no sketches, no preconception. I look at the colors laid out on my palettes and feel an inclination toward one, a leaning, an attraction – and it begins. A mark is made, and the next in relation to the first, and so forth and so on.
This method is both quiet and fervent, creative and destructive. I apply layers and wipe them off until I am moved into that intuitive nonverbal flow. In this state, I work from a vocabulary honed from years of painting from nature and studying others’ works. Color and tone, line and shape, edges and paint, thick and thin form compositions in 2D and 3D space. And then when the painting’s all done, like Agnes Martin, I ask my brain, ‘Well – what do you think?’
Pamela Benham studied painting in New York City at the Art Students’ League under a Ford Foundation Grant, and graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a BFA. She then studied in Paris at the Ecolé des Beaux-Arts with Pierre Carron. Other influential teachers were Robert Beverly Hale, Wolf Kahn, Dory Ashton, Paul Resika, Leland Bell and Stephen Posen.
She is a recipient of an Adolph Gottlieb Grant, an individual grant from ARTISTS SPACE, NYC, and Artist-in-Residencies at: Skowhegan School in Maine, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Parson’s Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, and Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Benham has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries including the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. She has had over twenty solo exhibitions in galleries in New York City including the Miller, Susan Schreiber and Jayne Baum Gallery. Some of her recent 2016 group exhibitions include: GraySpace Gallery in the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts, and the SFA University Galleries in Texas. Benham has now established her painting studio in Santa Barbara, California.