Ben Henriques’ meditative work finds beauty in the simple things that populate and document our daily lives: objects we use all the time, life forms we are familiar with. Those he observes with an intensity based on solid foundations, steeped in the canons of the painter’s art. His voluptuous use of complementary and contrasting colours to render detail, density and tone lends his work a lyrical quality. Although non-narrative, his paintings express and inspire emotion, evoking the surprise and wonder of coming across an unexpected blossom, not necessarily at its peak. Lately, his precisely-observed forms have evolved into a concerto of colour, their outlines blurred into abstraction. Edges soften, forms dissolve in a shimmering light, and the simplicity of humble subjects becomes emblematic of deeper truths. By capturing the fleeting nature of beauty in a frame where time is suspended, Ben Henriques fulfils the artist’s true purpose.
Born in England, Ben Henriques grew up in Scotland before attending the University of Newcastle in the late 1980s, where he honed his artistic skills. After obtaining a Fine Arts degree in 1990, he moved to London, where his direct approach of subject matter and enamoured respect for the painter’s traditional craft made him stand out. He was invited to exhibit a self-portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, and to take part in a joint show with the American painter Daniel Lang at the William Hardie Gallery, Glasgow. In 1994, eager for exposure to contrasting landscapes and sensations, he travelled to South Asia, where the change of scene inspired him to paint extensively. Upon his return in 1995, established and prestigious galleries such as Lefevre, Browse and Darby, and Agnew’s chose to exhibit his work. By 2001, he held his first solo show at the Jonathan Cooper gallery, with which he remains to this day. This exhibition is his tenth solo show with the gallery.