Donata Benker's landscapes do not connect to the conventional genre of paintings. Her work evades the classical definition of 'landscape' because they do not refer back to an external reality but to themselves. Her understanding of landscape universally includes presence and absence of people, animals, objects, natural and artificial places. Over and over again, apparently recognizable places or objects appear in her paintings and invite the viewer associative access to her figurative world. In describing her work, Benker states, “A landscape is much more than just a place: it is rhythm, movement, color, light. With all its voices, it tells about things I have no words for. My paintings try to approach the space behind the landscape that elude our direct view.” Benker's paintings are about the tension between real conditions and their abstractions, between corporeal application of paint and transcending colors, and this is the source of their strength.
IMAGE: Donata Benker. Pausenhof, 2010. Acrylic, oil, lacquer on canvas. 39.4 x 51.2 in. (100 x 130 cm).