Rode en gele bloemen
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
Without looking at the title it is easy to see this painting as a completely abstract canvas. The work is dominated by open, yellow circular forms which have in most cases been placed over a red circle. In the middle of these, Banner painted smaller circles or marks with one or more contrasting colours. Sometimes he used red for the last layer. The rest of the canvas is covered with strokes of paint mainly in blue shades, alternating with white, black, yellow, green and red. The paint was applied as a dry and paste-like substance. Upon reading the title, 'Red and Yellow Flowers', this figurative starting point becomes identifiable. Benner worked in an expressionist style, usually using bright contrasting colours which he chose intuitively, rather than on the basis of a realistic starting point. He used coarse brushes and applied the paint thickly, fairly dry, in layers. Benner’s work reflected the love which he felt for his subjects: for his environment, living creatures, and nature. He referred to “the wonder of the world”. His loving admiration for everything he encountered was the real theme of his work.
Benner remained distant from other groups in the art world, but nevertheless his work corresponds to trends in art shortly after the Second World War. Many artists worked in an expressionist style, including the members of Cobra. Benner valued their work but was not inspired by children’s drawings or by indigenous and primitive art as they were. His work was more introspective and cheerful, based on an experience of nature. In this respect it is related to the work of the representatives of the École de Paris. Benner said: “When I work on the basis of my feelings, the results should mainly reflect what nature is. And most of all, I like cheerfulness. It is certainly all about the atmosphere of nature, but I want the (painting) to evoke a clear and cheerful feeling.”
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