Julia Benz (b. 1985) studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the Berlin University of the Arts and completed her studies as a master student of Burkhard Held. With her expressive directness, she represents a new generation of painters who reject strict, rational formalism in art and theoretical contextualization. Benz has shown her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions, most recently Out of Mind Just in Time in Vienna (2019) and Between the Lines in Cologne (2019). She has also carried out artistic projects in private and public spaces for institutions including the Goethe Institute in Helsinki, Finland, and the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. Julia Benz lives and works in Berlin.
“Colors are emotions for me. They shock and fascinate me at the same time. They constantly challenge me to mediate between the dominance of color and the sensuality of painting.” Julia Benz
Vivid, radiant colors and dynamic, abstract forms combine with graphic elements and diverse materials in Julia Benz’s room-spanning installation Antonymdimension I, inviting the viewer to discover a changing interplay of perspectives and image levels.
Created by the artist exclusively for C/O Berlin and installed in the café in the Amerika Haus, this new work follows its own intuitive, associative rhythm—one very different from the rhythm of the street. Using acrylic paint, ink, and spray cans, Benz combines, superimposes, complements, and dissolves graphic and painterly elements to create a unique visual tension. The surfaces of the resulting work are reminiscent of the aesthetics of street art, but classical painting is also clearly palpable as the artist’s frame of reference and original artistic medium. Plexiglas panels painted on both sides and mounted over the wall painting reflect the interior and guests of the café, and open the installation up into three-dimensional space. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, the picture levels shift and create varying perceptions.
Following Christian Jankowski (2019), Gregor Hildebrandt (2018), Brigitte Waldach (2017), Karsten Konrad (2016), and Michail Pirgelis (2015), Julia Benz is the sixth artist to be featured as part of C/O Berlin’s expanded spatial and exhibition concept Artistic Intervention at the Amerika Haus.