Ben Aronson: Cities, Ourselves Digital Catalog

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Ben Aronson Cities, Ourselves

1613 Paseo de Peralta I Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 I 505.988.3250 I lewallengalleries.com I contact@lewallengalleries.com Cover: Early Morning, Left Bank, Paris, 2024, Oil on panel, 16.75 x 24.62 in. Ben Aronson May 31 - June 29 | 2024 Cities, Ourselves

Like a river coursing through a narrow canyon, an avenue in Manhattan cuts a channel between towering skyscrapers that rise like sheer cliff faces. In this captivating world of steel and concrete, streets with never-ending traffic, and animated sidewalks filled with throngs of people, Ben Aronson underscores that nature still remains ever-present. In his work, the sun, emanating from an overcast sky presents each element of the scene in subdued and ever-variable light. Halfway around the world, Aronson captures the prospect of the Pont Alexandre III in Paris, as it spans the River Seine. Along the river’s banks, architectural details are rendered indistinct and romantic by the atmospheric effects of distance.

Wherever Boston-born artist Aronson travels, whether it is within the United States or to a city in Europe, he approaches his urban landscapes with a reverence that extends well beyond love of place to include love of time and light. These ephemeral aspects of nature, which can bring dramatic day-to-day changes to an urban scene, engage the viewer in a relationship of emotional resonance.

“Cities are portraits of our collective selves,” Aronson says. “Upon arriving, my first experiences are the freshest, and all of the impulses and associations I have about a place come rushing forward. With familiarity, it’s often harder to access those initial impressions: the light, the mood, and the feeling.”

Aronson’s cityscapes are awash in brilliant light and seductive shadow, rendered with a restrained use of impressionistic abstraction, and a masterful use of reductive mark-making. Aronson masterfully recognizes that less is more. Rendering the faces of people passing in a crowded crosswalk with nuanced ambiguity and architectural features in distant structures with restricted detail, the artist allows the viewer to muse and interpret, enhancing the ability to forge a more personal and gratifying emotional engagement.

Aronson uses abstraction in service of realism, by emphasizing the art of painting rather than illustration. One can almost sense the warmth of a summer day in an urban Los Angeles neighborhood, motionless palm trees in the still air, or the welcoming light of the rising sun on a springtime morning in Paris, and even the slight chill in an autumn street scene in New York City.

Aronson achieves a painterly aesthetic and admits to feeling like an Abstract Expressionist when he’s on the streets of New York – sketching from a high vantage point looking over the rooftops, or from street level. When on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, he feels more like a classical Dutch Master or Italian Renaissance artist, evoking an almost spiritual quality to the subjects as he paints.

Aronson’s urban landscapes are as much felt as seen, eliciting memories, or even scents perhaps, like the petrichor that follows a springtime shower in a newly mowed field. He captures a sense of a given city, striking familiar and intimate notes while maintaining a necessary artistic detachment.

Conveying specific stories isn’t Aronson’s intent. He doesn’t oblige the viewer to think in certain ways or to draw ultimate conclusions. “That said, I believe we can orient our perspective to the beautiful,” he says. “Painting can be uplifting and aspirational. It’s imperative that we not forget that beauty is essential to our existence. To reference one of my favorite quotations from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations ‘Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.’” Beauty is always present, but we sometimes forget. We are often too caught up in our own stories to experience it. Artists like Aronson remind us of that larger reality.

Click on Images in this Catalog to Inquire

Early Morning, Left Bank, Paris, 2024

Oil on panel

16.75 x 24.62 in. Gondoliers, 2024 Oil on panel 12 x 12 in. Graffiti on Canal, 2023 Pastel on rag board 23.5 x 24 in. La Cote d'Azur, 2024 Oil on panel 36.12 x 44.12 in.

Morning, Over 5th, 2023

Pastel on rag board 27 x 21.25 in.

Summer Sun, 5th & East 34th, 2023

Mixed media on paper 37.5 x 28.25 in.

Morning Over Fifth Avenue, 2020

Oil on panel

60 x 44.5 in.

Midtown Rain, 2020 Oil on panel 12 x 12 in. Midtown on Madison, 2020 Oil pastel on museum board 10.5 x 10.5 in. Rising Shadows on St. Germain Boulevard, 2020 Oil pastel on museum board 10.5 x 10.5 in. Pont Alexandre lll, Paris, 2024 Oil on panel 24 x 54.12 in. Toward Ponte degli Scalzi, Venice, 2024 Oil on panel 15 x 17.37 in. South of the Park on Fifth, 2020 Oil on panel 12 x 12 in.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2024 LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

2023 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2022 LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

2021 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, CA 2021 exhibition catalogue

2021 LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

2020 MM Fine Art, Southampton, NY

2019 LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

2019 St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA

2018 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2018 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2017 LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM 2017 exhibition catalogue

2014 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2014 Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

2014 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Art Market San Francisco, CA

2013 Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

2013 Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens and Museum, West Palm Beach, FL

2011 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2010 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY 2010 exhibition catalogue

2009 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2008 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2008 exhibition catalogue

2008 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY 2008 exhibition catalogue, essay Donald Kuspit

2008 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2008 exhibition catalogue

2007 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2006 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA 2006 exhibition catalogue

2005 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY 2005 exhibition catalogue

2004 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2004 exhibition catalogue, essay Gerald Nordland

2003 DFN Gallery, New York, NY

2002 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2000 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

1999 Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla, CA

1998 Sydne Bernard Fine Arts, Hollywood, CA

1997 MB Modern, New York, NY

1996 Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1996 Jerry Solomon Gallery, Hollywood, CA

1994 Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 MM Fine Art, Southampton, NY

Winter Collection

2023 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA Evolving Visions

2022 LewAllen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Selections: Winter 2022

2022 Rukaj Gallery, Toronto, Canada

New Aquisitions

Artist CV:

2019 University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME

Contemporary Responses to Modernism: A New England Perspective

2016 New Britian Museum of American Art, CT 2016 exhibition catalogue

As We See It: The Collection of Gail and Ernst von Metzsch

2016 San Diego Museum of Art, CA Urban Banality

2015 Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, ME New Acquistions

2014 Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL

Selections from Fifty Years of Collecting

2012 University of New Hampshire Art Museum, Durham, NH

What’s New: Recent Additions to the Collection

2011 The Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, ME

exhibition catalogue Aronson to Aronson: The Lineage of Expressionism

2011 Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Bellagio Gallery, Las Vegas, NV

A Sense of Place: Landscapes from Monet to Hockney

2010 Nagoya/Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Nagoya, Japan

Changing Soil: Contemporary Landscape Painting

2010 ART in Embassies Exhibition, United States of America Embassy Tunis, Tunisia

2010 Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL People, Places & Things: The Art of ARONSON, BABB, and SOTH

2009 Mark Gallery, Englewood, NJ Urban Perspectives

2008 Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA Contemporary Still Lifes

2007 Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL Master Prints

2007 Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA Landscapes: Rural and Urban Landscapes

2007 Lemberg Gallery, Ferndale, MI

Contemporary Urban Landscape

2006 American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture

2006 Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, ME

The Figure in American Painting

2006 LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM Cities Different

2005 Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY

Re-Presenting Representation (catalogue)

2005 Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA Looking Back, Seeing Forward

2004 National Academy of Design, New York, NY

179th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art (catalogue)

2001-09 Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco Realism Invitational, (catalogue)

2004 LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM Dualities

2004 Hidell-Brooks, Charlotte, NC

Still Life and Streets

2003 DFN Gallery, New York, NY

The Burbs

2002 Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla, CA

Form & Conscience: Figurative Art from Mid-Century to Present

2001 Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

Contemporary Portraits

1999 Alter & Gil Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

The Aronsons

1998-99 Exxon-Mobil

Meridian International Traveling Exhibition (catalogue)

1999 US, China, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa

Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

Altered Streets: Boston Artists Paint Boston

1998 MB Modern, New York, NY

Town & Country Perspectives

1998 Sydne Bernard Fine Arts, Hollywood, CA

Urban Suburban

1997 MB Modern, New York, NY

Contemporary Figures

1995 Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

About American Realism: Part I

1995 Koplin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Only in America

1994 Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA

Contemporary Perspectives II Interiors

1992 National Academy of Design, New York, NY

167th Annual Exhibition (catalogue)

1992 American Institute of Architects, Boston, MA

National Convention Exhibition

1990 National Academy of Design, New York, NY

165th Annual Exhibition (catalogue)

1990 The Copley Society, Boston, MA, 1990

1988 The DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA

Museums and Public Collections

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA

Boston Public Library, Prints & Drawings Collection, MA

Boston University, MA

Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL

Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Broad Art Museum, Lansing, MI

Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, IO

Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, CO

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA

Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

Delaware Art Museum, DE

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, CO

Detroit Institute of Arts, MI

De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA

De Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN

Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Mazovian Museum, Plock, POLAND

Middlebury College, VT

Mobile Museum of Art, AL

Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Naples Museum of Art, FL

National Academy Museum, New York, NY

National Museum of Fine Arts, MALTA

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM

New Orleans Museum of Art, LA

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Ogunquit Museum of American Art, ME

The Orangerie, Gera, GERMANY

Orlando Museum of Art, FL

Palm Springs Art Museum, CA

Rahr West Museum, Manitowoc, WI

Reading Public Fine Art Museum, Reading, PA

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA

San Diego Museum of Art, CA

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA

State of Rhode Island, Statehouse, Providence, RI

Suzhou Museum, Jiangsu Province, CHINA

Taizhou Museum, Taizhou, CHINA

Tampa Museum of Art, FL

United States of America Federal Courthouse, Providence, RI

Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT

Vero Beach Museum of Art, FL

Vieques Museum of Art, PR

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

Awards

American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Prize, 2006

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Academician Appointment, 2005

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Benjamin Altman Landscape Prize, 2004

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

J. Sanford Saltus Gold Medal for Painting, 2004

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Ogden M. Pleissner Painting Award, 1992

American Society of Architectural Perspectivists, New York, NY

Thomas Fisher Award, 1991

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

William P. & Gertrude Schweitzer Painting Prize, 1990

Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Grant, 1988

The Blanche E. Coleman Award for Painting, 1988

The St. Botolph Club Foundation Grant in Painting, 1988

Massachusetts Lottery Grant for Painting, 1987

The Blanche E. Coleman Award for Painting, 1986

Education

Master of Fine Arts in Painting, Boston University, 1980 - 82

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Boston University, 1976 - 80

Studied under:

Philip Guston, James Weeks, David Aronson, Reed Kay, John Wilson

Teaching

2002-03 University of Massachusetts, Nantucket Island Plein air painting

2001 The Great River Art Institute, Walpole, NH Plein air painting

1995-97 Harvard University, Graduate School of Design Drawing seminar

1983-90 Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill, MA Instructor, Visual Arts

1981-82 Boston University, School of Fine Art

Adv. Anatomy & Figure Drawing, Teaching Asst. to Professor Jack Kramer

Ben in his studio 2022
Railyard Arts District | 1613 Paseo de Peralta | Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 | 505.988.3250 www.lewallengalleries.com | contact@lewallengalleries.com ©2024 LewAllen Galleries | Artwork ©Ben Aronson Back Image: Midtown Rain, 2020, Oil on panel, 12 x 12 in.
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