Exhibition Dates: August 4 - September 2, 2012
Reception: August 9, 6 - 8pm - Artist Talk at 7pm
“Duke’s canvases are energetic and chaotic; he is unafraid of scale, lush surface, high contrast, saturated color, unstable angularity, exaggerated gesture and any of a number of devices that may make a self conscious, defensive painter squeamish. This exuberance is girded by masterful drawing, seemingly effortless mark and convincing picture structure; Mr. Duke applies his craft with conviction, enthusiasm and without apology.” – David Page, 2012 Open Exhibition Juror
The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery presents the exhibition Sublime Rupture, featuring a series of large paintings by artist Benjamin Duke, winner of the gallery’s 2012 Open Exhibition competition. A distinguished panel of three arts-experts who reviewed over eighty submitted proposals unanimously selected Duke’s work. The exhibition will open on Saturday, August 4th and run through Sunday, September 2nd, 2012. Please join us on August 9th, from 6-8pm for a reception to meet the artist and hear him speak at 7pm.
When asked about this series of work, Duke says, “In my paintings I ask myself ‘Is this the way the world is?’ I reshape and retool my painting experience to answer that question. But while the question begins with the world, it ends with the work itself: ‘Is this the way the world is in this work?’ The search is for the world in painting and painting in the world (painting worlds/ painting’s world). Am I in the world or is the world in me? I allude to my life, to writers’ works, to imagery, and it is my hope that this record of allusion conjures and creates the same. I am referring to text, theory, idea - but I am also finding myself already there, looking out to see in.”
About Benjamin Duke
Benjamin Swallow Duke was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Utah. He studied Literature, Philosophy and Art at the University of Utah receiving his BFA in 2002. He received his Master of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Hoffberger School of Painting, and has been teaching painting and drawing at Michigan State University since 2006. Duke has had numerous solo and group shows at the national and international level including at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton, Ohio, “Weak Painting Group” exhibitions at The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art in Taipei and Da Xiang Art Space in Taichung City, Taiwan, and several solo exhibitions at Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. Duke’s work has been represented since 2006 by Ann Nathan Gallery, a well-established and respected downtown Chicago Gallery with a focus on contemporary realism. Duke has also been awarded international residencies at Bamboo Curtain Studios, Taiwan from May to July 2009 and The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art from December 2009 through January 2010 at Taipei National University of the Arts, the premier Art University in Taiwan.
About the 2012 Open Exhibition Competition
When the artists of the Torpedo Factory Art Center conceived the Target Gallery in 1987, it was tasked with the mission to feature emerging and establishedartists from all over the country in shows that would engage and challenge the viewer. We accomplish this through a series of juried exhibitions that are open to all artists nationally and internationally. One opportunity that we offer annually is our Open Exhibition competition, which invites artists to submit exhibition proposals for a chance at a solo exhibition in the gallery. In addition to the honor of having a solo exhibition in a world-renowned art center, the gallery offers the artist a show catalog. We choose a panel of three arts experts to choose the winning exhibition proposal. This year’s distinguished juror panel included Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC, Catriona Fraser, international award winning photog–rapher and the Director of Fraser Gallery, and David Page, South African-born, internationally acclaimed Baltimore-based sculptor.