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Fletcher Benton

American, 1931-2019

Born in Jackson, Ohio, in 1931, Fletcher Benton showed an early talent for art. From early childhood, Benton’s mother allowed him to use the family’s basement as an art studio and enrolled him in a local painting course. Benton also undertook an apprenticeship with a sign painter, after which he opened his own sign painting business at the age of fourteen. Though he would later explore different avenues of artistic expression, lettering and sign painting remained a near-constant presence in his artistic practice for the rest of his life.

Following a brief stint in the US Navy, Benton enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with the intent of pursuing its pre-med program. His interests quickly returned to painting, however, and he completed his degree in fine art in 1956. After graduating Benton relocated to San Francisco, California, where he immersed himself in the city’s vibrant artistic community.

In 1961, at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Benton had his first major solo show, a measure of his rising status as an artist. In 1964, however, a promised show at Gump’s Gallery was abruptly cancelled. This rejection sparked a radical transformation in the artist’s practice, and he began exploring Hard-Edge abstraction with a constructivist bent. Drawing on his knowledge of lettering, Benton debuted a series of kinetic works in a solo show in Los Angeles the next year. The kinetic and abstract elements of his new work led to increased interest from audiences, curators, and critics, and between 1965 and 1967 he participated in numerous high-profile exhibitions nationwide.

While he continued to exhibit, in 1967 Benton began teaching at California State University, San Jose, where he taught until retiring in 1986. In 2003 he received his first of many major public commissions: Steel Watercolor TriangleRing, a 66- foot-high red-painted steel sculpture installed at the Barbarossaplatz interchange train station in Cologne, Germany. Benton continued his work up until his death in 2019 at the age of eighty-eight.

Benton’s contributions to kinetic art and sculpture were recognized in his lifetime through numerous awards, honors, and public commissions. His works are also included in the collections of such prestigious institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, among others.

(Biography provided by McClain Gallery)
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Creator: Fletcher Benton
Kinetic Brass Ribbon Sculpture Set on a Tall Metal Stand in the style of Jere.
By Fletcher Benton
Located in Chicago, IL
An abstract large brass ribbon sculpture having Kinetic capabilities when plugged in. (It does not have to be plugged in to appreciate its presence.) Housed in a black metal stand. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Fletcher Benton

Materials

Brass

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Fletcher Benton furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Fletcher Benton furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our Fletcher Benton collection, there are many options to choose from, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 1 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many original furniture by Fletcher Benton was created in the Mid-Century Modern style in the United States during the mid-20th century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Jerry Meatyard, Masatoyo Kishi and William King. Fletcher Benton furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $2,800 and tops out at $2,800, while pieces like these can sell for $2,800 on average.

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