Exhibiting with Galleri Urbane for the first time, Benjamin Terry presents his newest body of work in an exhibition titled A Romantic Gesture. The show follows the lead of Terry’s recent exhibitions that have used site-specific, painting-based installations as a means to engage with personal narratives. Utilizing this expanded mode of painting, Terry invites viewers to consider the exhibition as a love letter to his partner.
A Romantic Gesture is a response to the long distance relationship that Terry and his fiancé have endured over the last year. The exhibition offers a glimpse into this period of the the couples’ relationship that has been inundated with conversations associated with the planning of their wedding and dream home. The influence of exchanged images and ideas for wedding dresses, bathroom tiles, wedding venue architecture and the like makes itself evident throughout the forms of Terry’s paintings. Taking on the patterns of architectural details liked draped fabrics and other personal mementos, the paintings become entryways for viewers to explore this moment of separation and romance.
The overwhelming sentimentality of this narrative is anything but down-played: Terry supplements his paintings with wallpaper on the gallery walls, flickering candles, and an abundance of roses. Still, despite these dramatic elements, the works in the exhibition are clear continuations of the formal explorations that Terry has become recognized for. A monochromatic piece in cadmium red, the title work, A Romantic Gesture (2018), is a prime example of the artist’s approach to painting as a three-dimensional object. Using construction-grade plywood, a complex structure of drape-like forms is assembled to create an object that straddles the line between calculated precision and wabi sabi informality. With this unique ability, Terry has created a body of work that is deeply romantic and aspirational yet still grounded in a humble reality that any viewer can connect with.