Steve DiBenedetto: A Denatured Humanism

Steve DiBenedetto: Traipser, 2018 (courtesy of the artist and Derek Eller Gallery)
Steve DiBenedetto: Traipser, 2018 (courtesy of the artist and Derek Eller Gallery)

Dan Nadel reviews Steve DiBenedetto: Toasted with Everything at Derek Eller Gallery, New York, on view through April 22, 2018.

Nadel notes that DiBenedetto's paintings "are first and foremost creations of the physical act of brush and scraper on canvas—where once DiBenedetto layered his paintings with allusions to psychedelic phenomena, science fiction films and literature, and modernist architecture and machinery, now he is constructing his own, without any external references. They sometimes look as though he’s coaxed slabs of meat together, Francis Bacon-like, with smooth chunks of granite. And then, sometimes, they are all sweeping strokes of color.

DiBenedetto encodes his works with ideas about paint as if to answer the question, What should a painting look like, in all its confusing, diffuse, and oddball glory, in order to make us feel that we’re human and engaged?"