Canadian artist Tom Benner, whose larger-than-life sculptures depicted nature and compelled viewers to consider their setting, has died.
Benner lived and died in London, Ont. His household confirmed his demise on the age of 72 on Wednesday.
Benner’s artwork was a part of the motion generally known as London Regionalism within the Sixties and 70s, difficult how the artist positioned himself within the artwork world and in society.
“After I consider Tom’s work, I believe primarily of his love of nature and the setting,” mentioned Catherine Elliott Shaw, present director of the McIntosh Gallery at Western College and its former curator.
“He did a sequence of fantastic artworks that attempted to make individuals take note of the endangered pure setting, the animals themselves, their place in our life cycle, however he was additionally all for humor and he knew that if he may use that humor, he may attain individuals higher. That is to not say his work wasn’t severe, however he knew how you can use humor to take a look at his work and get the message as an individual.”
In London, Benner’s White Rhino – an aluminum statue of an enormous rhinoceros – stands in entrance of the Museum of London.
About his artwork, he mentioned: “Each bit is strongly rooted within the custom of narrative and storytelling, however equally related to the fabric. Some tales are linked to historic analysis, trying to libraries and libraries for info, Some tales embody the type of goals, reminiscences.
“My sculpture will not be solely in regards to the particular person piece, but in addition in regards to the course of, the fabric and the area it occupies.”
Benner’s work has been exhibited throughout Canada, together with at Union Station in Toronto and on the Confederation Middle of the Arts in Charlottetown, the place he created the enduring Moose that stands outdoors the constructing.
“He meant quite a bit to the tradition of this area and to Canadian artwork basically,” mentioned Cassandra Getty, curator of artwork on the Museum of London.
“He established a novel voice and a means of working that was instantly recognizable. He was very progressive in his work on the thought of how humanity threatens the setting.”
On his web site, Benner’s biography signifies that he lives along with his spouse Pauline and his brother-in-law.
His brother is the artist Ron Benner, additionally a resident of London.
Benner ‘all the time very severe about his artwork’
The Benner household was obsessed with celebrating artwork, mentioned Michael Gibson, president of the Michael Gibson Gallery.
“I used to go over to their home in ninth grade, tenth grade, and so they had been very, very humorous. Tom used to make these large fiberglass rocks. We would carry them over our heads, like Fred Flinstone- issues. to indicate how sturdy we had been. It was enjoyable,” Gibson recalled.
“He had a humorousness however he was additionally very severe about his artwork.”
Tom Benner was greatest recognized for his large-scale sculptures product of chilly, rolled, grooved aluminum and copper. Within the Eighties, he created a sequence of works on endangered or extinct species, together with the white bearded dragon.
“He had messages to get throughout that had been very severe, however he used humor to assist get these messages throughout,” Getty mentioned.