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Karl Stanley Benjamin
American painter, born 1925
(Chicago, IL, December 29, 1925 - July 26, 2012)
Karl Benjamin is known for his paintings in the genre of hard-edge Abstraction. He belonged to a group of Los Angeles artists known as the Four Abstract Classicists, which also included Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin.
Benjamin was born in Chicago. He enrolled in Northwestern University in 1943, but shortly thereafter dropped out to join the US Navy. After three years of military services, Benjamin moved to California to attend the University of Redlands, where he completed a degree in English literature and philosophy. In 1949, Benjamin married Beverly Jean Paschke; three years later, they moved to Claremont, CA.
In Claremont, Benjamin began painting. Inspired by John Dewey’s 1934 novel, Art as Experience, Benjamin’s working process was driven by impulse and intuition. His abstract paintings were characterized by sharp edges, flattened compositions, and bright colors. In 1959, his paintings were exhibited in Four Abstract Classicists: Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In 1979, Benjamin was appointed professor of art and artist-in-residence at Pomona College and professor of art at the Claremont Graduate School. He spent 15 years teaching art at both institutions, while also painting in his home studio.