In April 2018 Jonathan Cooper will be holding an exhibition of new still lifes by British contemporary painter Ben Henriques. The exhibition, which will include over thirty works, will be the artist’s first solo show since 2014, and his first devoted purely to still life since 2012.
Robustly painted yet meditative in tone, Henriques’ paintings find beauty in the everyday objects that populate and document our lives. Under the painter’s eye root vegetables freshly harvested from the garden, soil still clinging to their roots, become a painterly symphony of colour and form, their outlines blurring into abstraction. Elsewhere the artist’s tools, his oil paints and brushes, become the focus of his gaze, in a reflective work depicting the very materials with which its surface is constructed. Edges soften, forms dissolve, and colours sing. Non-narrative in tone, Henriques’ paintings nevertheless seek to express emotion, whether moments of stillness and calm, or an awareness of the passage of time and the fleeting nature of beauty.
Painted over the course of three years, this subtle yet confident body of work marks an important turning point in the artist’s development and style.