The Fate of Forms
Benjamin Senior and Michele Tocca
FLAG ART FOUNDATION, New York
James Fuentes is pleased to present a series of new paintings by Benjamin Senior and Michele Tocca. A key element in both artists’ work is the direct observation of life. In Benjamin Senior’s work, this takes the form of a highly formalised and often fractured image, whereas Michele Tocca finds tactile painterly equivalents for things that can be seen but not always touched.
The title of this presentation is taken from the notes of André Derain for a treatise on painting, encountered by both artists at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s National Art Library at different stages of their researches. Rarely published during Derain’s life, his annotations foster reflections on nature, intuition, the transition between subjective experience and its objectification in form as accomplished via the conscientious observation of the appearances of the world.
Drawing on traditions of figurative painting, Senior and Tocca are concerned with the connection between painting and the world, an engagement with the visible which becomes a vehicle to reflect upon what it is to be painted; what to add to the ancient debate between observation and artifice; how to positively respond to conventions of representation and genre. Their works are brought together here as part of an ongoing conversation between the two artists and periods of painting together from the same scene.