As We Breathe: A New Solo Exhibition by Benjamin Degen A’98
POSTED ON: February 23, 2023
Artist Benjamin Degen A’98, a longtime adjunct faculty member in the School of Art, is presenting a series of new paintings and works on paper this month at Susan Inglett Gallery in New York City. His fifth solo exhibit, the show is titled As We Breathe and will run through March 11, with the artist leading a sketch class hosted in the gallery on Saturday, February 25.
Degen’s work is inspired by Eastern and Western aesthetics as well as philosophical, musical, and esoteric traditions. The new paintings featured employ the visual language of drawing to invite the viewer on a journey into the artist’s world.
“An image will arrive,” says Degen. “I’ll pull out my sketchbook to quickly get it down on paper. This sketch is usually a collection of elements (a figure or objects) in a very particular composition. The composition and the elements are of equal importance. The shape may be the important thing. The number may be important. The pieces fit together like an equation, the words in a sentence, or notes in a melody.”
In addition to The Cooper Union, Degen, who is based in Beacon, New York, has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Brooklyn College. His artwork has been exhibited across the country and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Hort Foundation, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Collezione Maramotti in Italy, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, among others.