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Art review: Benjamin Britton at Ruth Bachofner Gallery

January 19, 2012 |  6:30 pm

Benjamin Britton
The paintings on view in “Prevailing Conditions,” Benjamin Britton’s second solo show at Ruth Bachofner Gallery, are brassy, internally spring-loaded abstractions that have the feel of being much bigger than they are. Fragmented nearly to the point of pictorial dishevelment — pattern upon pattern, gesture upon gesture, with vague allusions to recognizable forms strewn in among heaps of indeterminate strokes and swirls — they manage to contain the energy of an impact: a fevered, climactic coming together that only just precedes a falling apart.            

It is a winning palette, more than anything, that keeps the paintings contained. Energetically varied and deliciously nuanced, bold without being gaudy or simplistic, Britton’s use of color has an intriguing edge, a confident, indissoluble character that carries the chaos with apparent ease. 


More art reviews from the Los Angeles Times 

-- Holly Myers

Ruth Bachofner Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., G2, Santa Monica, (310) 829-3300 through Feb. 25. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Image: Benjamin Britton, "A Treasured Ability to Set Fires and Feed Them," 2011. From Ruth Bachofner Gallery.