In a recent article I wrote I mentioned that there are certain artists’ art exhibits that result in a sort of refuge from the “outdoor uproar” which contaminates all levels of our political reality, our daily life and – we can´t expect it to be otherwise – the world of art.
It is actually a healthy and also encouraging experience to visit Laura Benchetrit’s studio, there I found mildness, warmth and silence. The silence needed to contemplate a small work of art. Now, what do I mean by small ? Is it that her work is not important? Absolutely not,on the contrary.
Fortunately, Laura´s work situates itself beyond what could be called “ the art show”, the fashion art, the controversial art just for the sake of controversy.
Laura Benchetrit ´s calling is doing. The sort of doing that awakens live feelings both in critics and observers, that is open to intellectual debate and emotional perception.
I was not acquainted with her work until I was able to observe through different catalogues that on paper, her main “appoggiatura” (support), as the critic Fermin Fevre pointed out in 1993, she creates “an expressive atmospheric register, free from defined forms , figurative referents nor any other image resources”. An evanescent material, a chromatic repertoire that in a graphic manner gives way to shape, or the lack of it, construed with great spiritual intensity.
Gradually, geometry appeared in her work . We were able to verify it in her 2007 exhibition catalogue: pictures and object-pictures, overlapping panels wherein she “locks up” shapes linked to what is concrete, much more rational, but which also give place to her capacity to fill certain empty spaces with resources coming from her engraving mastery.
For this reason the critic Julio Sánchez pointed out that this new series “ built a bridge between two well defined dimensions….a link between the immediately visible and the adjacently invisible”. Called as I was to write this text on her present exhibit, I feel at this moment that everything flows naturally: the background colors, a geometry that suggestively slides in seeming to advance, resulting in depth and space to fuse with her favourite techniques, aquarelle, pastels, collograph, within the limits set up by the conventional frame. “The annihilation of the art subject, of the artist, through the un- investiture of the creating act”, a rather apocalyptic phrase by Jean Baudrillard (“The Art Complot”) but which constantly hammers and unchains in me encountered feelings and doubts about the reach of my perception; it allows me to value the attitude and the mentioned doing, since Laura Benchetrit is far away from the superficial, the insipid and the obvious.
The critics named coincide when referring to an inevitable association with oriental mysticism. Sun Kio-tïng, a maestro of taoistic aesthetics, says there are three periods in the practice of calligraphy, and consequently in painting. I believe that Laura Benchetrit is in her third period, wherein “she has put all her resources in order, to join them in a simple style and easy appearance. And here we are, on the summit of artistic achievement.”.
Member of the Argentine Association of Art Critics