Have you met…Paul Behnke?

An introduction can be a wonderful thing. You can meet interesting people, and make new friends. You can be introduced to your new favorite foods, books, music, or artist.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite artists. Some of whom I’ve been familiar with for years, and other I’ve only recently been introduced to.

The artist I’d like to introduce is the painter Paul Behnke who was recommended to me by the painters Karl Bielik, and David T. Miller.

A Pink Grotto Near the Bay of Naples  Acrylic on canvas 48x50 inches

A Pink Grotto Near the Bay of Naples Acrylic on canvas 48×50 inches

Behnke was born in Memphis, TN and graduated with a Bachelors degree in painting from the Memphis College of Art. Behnke has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Additionally, he is the author of Structure and Imagery, a contemporary art blog.

Columbic Acrylic on canvas  48x50 inches

Columbic Acrylic on canvas 48×50 inches


From the time I began making non-objective work I found it necessary or natural to work within self imposed parameters.  For years I worked only in blacks and whites using one form and the grid to build my compositions. After a while I began to chafe at those restrictions and more elements were slowly introduced. For me, this is the crux of good painting- the powerful contrast of the need for boundaries with the need to go beyond them. But not only to go beyond the self imposed rules in increments—to need the parameters, and yet want, at the same time, to exceed them by miles and miles. The tension created around a need to include everything and nothing is what keeps the act of painting interesting and relevant for me.

Other links relating to Paul Behnke:

Hyperallergic: Who’s Afraid Of Hot Pink

Studio Critical Interview.

Abstract Critical: Paul Behnke: A Theatre of Colour  written by John Yau.

ahtcast: Artist interview with Paul Behnke.

If you liked this introduction check out the Previous and Next.