William Eckhardt Kohler reviews a show of recent paintings by Benjamin King at Longhouse Projects, New York, on view through April 25, 2014.
Kohler writes that King's paintings "resist easy categorization, slipping fluidly back and forth between material-based abstraction and Mother Earth inspired landscape. Matter and Mother are both derived from the same root word, mater, so perhaps the too prongs of his work are not as dichotomous as they seem. Nonetheless, one of the pleasures of King's paintings is the way his paintings, in his words, 'seem to fail as landscapes, while succeeding as abstractions, yet inextricably remain landscapes.' ... King's paintings are clearly derived from having spent meaningful time in nature, while also reflecting consciousness of historical and contemporary painting. King's visual and conceptual intelligence keeps him well clear of painterly indulgence while his openness to what painting is and can be steers him away from the dryness of theoretically driven art."