Cedarhurst Sculpture Park
For all the hard-edged, geometric simplicity there is about the work of Fletcher Benton, an enigmatic, even contradictory, quality becomes apparent over time. The name alone of this important sculpture series begun in the early 1980s, Balanced/Unbalanced, hints at this fundamental dichotomy; the need to bring order to chaos and stability to life.
Despite the "cool" geometry of Benton's sculpture, the basis for his art is emotional. According to the artist, "There is very little about the art process that is intellectual. My decisions are mostly intuitive." When asked what his objectives are, beyond bringing geometric shapes into balance and harmony, he responded, "It is the uncluttered mind that I am trying to reach. In a way it's an untarnished soul. I find children respond very directly to my work. They respond to the color, the shape, and they respond with a kind of interest that asks "Oh, does that really move, that circle hanging there on that thing?" Maybe, what I'm trying to reach in everyone is innocence. A sense that allows you to look at what I do without being sophisticated."
Benton was born and raised in Jackson, Ohio. After a tour in the Navy in the South Pacific from 1949 to 1953, he returned to Ohio to attend Miami University in Oxford. In the late 1950s, Benton moved to San Francisco and subsequently taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the State University in San Jose. He has an extensive exhibition history with shows throughout the United States, Japan, England, Germany, France, and Norway.
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