Jean Behnke

Posted by Doug Paradis on

My approach to making art is basically inventive and the start of this process is

most often motivated by my own innate bearings. I am drawn in by inherent

qualities of materials and gathered objects, followed by simple impulses

to combine things.

Bronze work made in the past five years, Thing of Things, Nurse Log, Red Fire

Walker, Blackened Walker, Marker at the Old Path, Device to Measure

What’s Left and Joe’s Slice began as collected and assembled wood elements.

These forms are objects of metaphorical utility suggesting acts of marking,

messaging and warning, and sometimes an invented poetic device to measure

with and at the same time is also the thing being measured.

I make graphite drawings and also unique monoprints on a large Ettan press.

The press brings unpredictable depth into the flat space of paper by merging

composite layers under 6,000 pounds of pressure. Each additional printed layer

brings a welcome departure from my own initial intention. I am encouraged by

the idea that the press always has something to say last in the process.

What I make in the studio seems to resolve itself on its own terms, somewhere

between any of my intentions and lack of that. Although this resolution is not

possible to predict, I can place things in some kind of alignment where an

authentic work may happen.

Jean Behnke

January, 2022

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