Paul Benjamins

Paul worked with a new urgency during the last year of his life, completing a series of monoprints with Advanced Graphics, culminating with a show in April 2015 at their gallery in The Borough.

Paul worked on these prints in between chemotherapy sessions at Guys hospital, walking down to the studio’s workshop when he had enough energy to work.

When Paul was first diagnosed with lung cancer, friends suggested he write a blog of his experiences. Being an artist Paul decided to keep a visual diary of his life, treatment and feelings towards his diagnoses. The result is eighteen large sketchbooks detailing his journey with cancer, nearly three hundred drawings. We hope to have these books published in the near future.

Pauls last show was in Paris last October 2015, a mini retrospective in Paris at the Galerie Pascal Gabert. By that time Pauls energy was quite low, but he was determined to attend the opening and managed to get to Paris and back and see his fantastic successful exhibition.

The last work Paul completed before his death last November were two drawings for his son Daniel, for his new restaurant, The Habit in Nunhead, London, a drawing for his daughter, Rebecca and a painting for me, which was left unfinished. He said it just needed a few more marks.

Pauls determination to work during those last few months was extraordinary, and he leaves behind an inspiring body of work.

Jaqui Benjamins

Paul Benjamins Paul Benjamins Paul Benjamins
Paul Benjamins Paul Benjamins Paul Benjamins
When artists paint they enter into a relationship with the traditions of that practice and agree that the constituents of painting are colour, surface, line and the way the materials are applied. In painting, meaning is apprehended as much through these elements as through an image or motif. Painters know that at least some of these concerns must be dealt with in painting because if they are all abandoned painting ceases to be painting. The same conditions apply to other art forms with strong traditions. A Flamenco guitarist when asked to define his art once said: “It is like a bird in a cage. The bird can fly anywhere within the cage but it must not escape or it is no longer Flamenco.” In the same way, painting retains links with its tradition through its essential constituents and these determine what paintings look like as well as signify what they can mean.

Kevin O’Brien.

Exhibitions and Events

15 Lyndhurst Way
SE15 5AG

Sat 7 May – Sun 8 May 2016

Part of the Dulwich Festival 2016