440 Gallery present Making Space by Fred Bendheim

Brooklyn, NY – 440 Gallery is proud to present Making Space, an exhibition of vibrant, shaped works by Fred Bendheim. For his fifth solo show at the gallery, Bendheim has selected nine pieces that reflect his intense period of creativity during this past year. Bendheim has continued to explore his format of “shaped paintings” on PVC board, as he has done for the past fifteen years. This unique format allows him a freedom of unlimited expression, while maintaining a bold compositional method. Although Bendheim sees himself as primarily a painter, these shaped works exist in an area between painting and sculpture.

Making Space refers to both outer and inner space. In these works, celestial imagery abounds: circles, spirals, ellipses and azure space collide in translucent layers of paint. On closer inspection, the viewer realizes that these transparent effects are illusions created with skillful mixes of color applied on flat shapes that echo the larger, sculptural shapes they are painted on. For Bendheim, “reality” is an illusion. Making Space also alludes to spaces within both body and mind. The artist recalls hearing the term in a yoga class he attended. Several of the works are also influenced by Native American petroglyphs. The abstract concept of heaven—a world of light, grand in scale—is contrasted by the everyday realm here on earth, one that is of matter and fine details. Bendheim is endlessly fascinated with contrast and juxtaposition. Work and play are making space. His hopes for his art is that it will make mental and spiritual space for humanity.

With Making Space, Bendheim explores his passion for co-joining contrast with juxtaposition. Bright color meets deep blues and purples. Shaped paintings imply suns that glow out of negative spaces. Coiling shapes restrain or run free? Forms embrace or create a pathway to another area? For Bendheim, these comparisons are part of a totality.

Says Bendheim, ”I like using the open-ended format of shaped, non-rectangular works. It allows me a freedom to depart from the ordinary rectangle. The walls become part of each piece, to have a conversation in space with the shapes and colors I have chosen.”

Fred Bendheim has had numerous one-person shows and his works are in collections world-wide including: The Museum of Arts & Design, NY; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Montclair Art Museum, The National Gallery of Costa Rica; The Instituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice, Italy; The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Plotkin Museum, The Brooklyn Public Library, NY; Denise Bibro Fine Art, NY; Jason McCoy Gallery, Bradley International Airport, Los Angeles, CA; The Mayo Center for Humanities, Scottsdale, AZ. His commissions include fountain- sculptures for Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, murals for Industry City, Brooklyn, and paintings for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, among others. His past art has taken the form of large room-sized installations, outdoor billboards with children’s art, sculptures, and fountains made with many materials, as well as mural-sized drawings. He has written articles about art for the British journal The Lancet, and he has been on the faculty at the Art Students League and The College of Mt. Saint Vincent in New York City. Bendheim lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two tigers.

About 440 Gallery: 440 Gallery presents engaging art to the community through exhibitions, talks, readings and events centered around direct contact with the artist.
Open Wednesday–Friday 4-7pm, Saturday–Sunday 11am-7pm, or by appointment.

440 Sixth Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 440gallery.com 718.499.3844

Fred Bendheim, Confluence, acrylic on shaped PVC board, 35″ x 48″, 2021

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