Trudy Benson

Trudy Benson was born in Richmond, Virginia

She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


2010   MFA, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, USA

2007   BFA, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA


One of the reasons I fell in love with painting was the sensation of walking into a room and being able to smell the paint. Surface is so important to me for the same reason, there is a physical presence that is immediately apparent when you are actually in a space with a painting. I also enjoy using colors and color combinations that can’t quite be photographed the same way that our eyes see the color IRL. It’s almost a fetish to have so many sensory qualities in an essentially 2-D object, especially these days when almost anything can be experienced virtually. The idea that a painting, which at one time was a virtual experience, a window, can now be decidedly phenomenal is something that has driven the work for years.

Trudy Benson

   Awards and Grants

2014   Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant Nominee

2012   Painting Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts

   Permanent Collection

Aishti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts, Peekskill, USA

Trudy Benson's paintings are notable because her method is laid bare for any viewer willing to look deeply. The paintings start with a raw canvas and a commercial airbrush. Benson sprays broad gestures or stream of consciousness doodling then she adds blocky cell-like structures of solid bold color that obscure and activate the surface with dynamic shapes. She often slathers lines of paint extruded from a pastry bag adding another dimension of depth and activity to the surface.

The contrast between the wispy spray and thick frosting-like paint creates a dramatic sense of space. If the eyesight is softened the hard-edge planes lift and hover off of the surface, sharpen your vision again and the heavily physical surfaces regain their heft and presence. The difference between a substantial grounded shape and the ethereal atmosphere is a key into what makes Benson's work ebulliently muscular and airy simultaneously.

Trudy Benson belongs to the generation that inherited a society where computers and technology are seemingly like air or water, not optional but an overarching aspect of reality. The idea that we can « unhook » or opt out of social media is becoming quaint in the blink of an eye. Benson's paintings seem to ask questions about the nature of newness and the converse state of nostalgia and memory.

The nostalgic quality that is embedded in the paintings is seemingly about the rapid pace that the newest computer tools begin look simplistic or silly. Benson's paintings take a similiarly investigative look at high-modernist abstraction; a language, like computer software, that is full of codes and rules. Benson's intuitive improvisations on these codes offers us glimpses into how our lives are shaped design and visual logic. It is the insouciant attraction to both the high and low of abstraction that recalls such American painters as Elizabeth Murray, Rebecca Morris and Katherine Bernhardt.

Benson has often talked about using primitive computer drawing tools like Macpaint as her preferred method for sketching out ideas before beginning a canvas. She often describes these tools as being left behind on old computers, in effect these programs are found or rehabilitated, as if through a happy accident. Benson finds pleasure in spotlighting the act of making painting as a step-by-step layering process. « Layers » is a term that any person familiar with using Photoshop or any other graphic computer program would recognize immediately.

But ultimately there is something exuberant rather than programmatic in the paintings : running late, rushing out the door, down the stairs... off to work. The happy push inside of each painting is urban, fun and utterly free.

Wallace Whitney

Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
Trudy Benson, Lyon
April 04 - May 18, 2024

Trudy Benson, Saint-Etienne
January 21 - March 13, 2021

Trudy Benson, Paris
March 24 - May 13, 2017

Trudy Benson, Luxembourg
June 04 - July 23, 2016

Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
10 YEARS in Luxembourg, Wandhaff
June 02 - August 04, 2018

September 26, 2015 - January 30, 2016

Solo shows


/ Z / Z /, Ceysson & Bénétière, Saint-Etienne, France

Join, LOYAL, Stockholm, Sweden

Cuts, Paints, team(bungalow), Venice, USA
Closer Than They Appear, Lyles & King, New York, USA 
Infinite Spiral, Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece

TT52, with Yann Gerstberger, Lyles & King, New York, USA
Garden in motion, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris, France
Ribordy contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland

Comsicomics, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg
Spooky Action at a Distance, Half Gallery, New York

With Russell Tyler, Retrospective Gallery, Hudson, USA
Shapes of Things, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, USA
With Russell Tyler, East Hampton Shed, East Hampton, USA

PAINT, Horton Gallery, New York, USA

Actual/Virtual, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York,USA

Space Jam, Freight + Volume, New York, USA

Group Shows

Rise, RIBORDY THETAZ, Geneva, Switzerland
Le ciel, l’eau, les dauphins, la vierge, les flics, le sang des nobles, l’ONU, l’Europe, les casques bleus, Facebook, Twitter, Forde, Geneva, Switzerland

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, Pablo's Birthday, New York, USA

Group Exhibition, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

10 Years in Luxembourg, Ceysson & Bénétière, Wandhaff, Luxembourg
MOONDOG, East Hampton Shed, East Hampton, USA

Come as You Are, Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Montreal, USA 
Post Analog Painting II, The Hole, New York, USA
Unobstructed Views, Hawkins Ferry House, Grosse Point Shores, USA
Pro forma : context and meaning in Abstraction, curated by Vittorio Colaizzi, Work Release, Norfolk, USA

Bodacioussss, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, USA
Re-Planetizer, Regina Rex, New York, USA
Splotch, Sperone Westwater, New York, USA
The City & The City, Denny Gallery, New York, USA
Non Figuration - un regain d'Intérêt?, Centre d'art, Meymac, France
9999, The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, USA
Image Tech: Making Pictures in a Post-Digital Age,curated by Mauro Zamora, The Art Gallery, College of New Jersey, Ewing, USA

PaintersNYC, Páramo, Guadalajara ; Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, Oaxaca, Mexico
Feed the Meter, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Wandhaff, Luxembourg
Let's Go Away for A while, curated by Erik den Breejen and Maria Calandra, One Mile Gallery, Kingston, USA
Swingers WKND, curated by Tribble & Mancenido, Brooklyn, USA
Anti-Fair, Harper's Books popup ,Carlyle Hotel, New York, USA
Post-Analog Painting, The Hole, New York, USA

Go With the Flow, The Hole, New York, USA
Sunscreen, James Graham & Sons, New York, USA
Abstract America Today, Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom
OK Great Thanks This Is So Ridiculous, ACME, LA ; DCKT, New York, USA
This One's Optimistic: Pincushion, New Britain Museum of Art, New Britain, USA
Material Images, Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York, USA
The Last Brucennial, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, USA

Merge Visible, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
SPLAZITCH, Side Effects Gallery, Brooklyn, USA
Paint On, Paint Off, Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, USA
Windows, Denny Gallery, New York, USA
XSTRACTION, The Hole, New York, USA
Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, USA

Aggro Crag, Bosi Contemporary, New York, USA
Where My Cones At?, curated by Ryan Travis Christian, Double Break, San Diego, USA
Pratt Alumni Painters, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, USA
Spindles, curated by Adam Mignanelli, Kinfolk Studios, Brooklyn, USA
WET WET, curated by the BLAAAHg, Brooklyn, USA
Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation New Acquisitions and Prints, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, USA
Idealizing the Imaginary: Illusion and Invention in Contemporary Painting, Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, USA

Behind the Green Door, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, USA
Pratt MFA Exhibition, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY

Fervor, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, USA
Down Below It's Chaos, ArtJail, New York, USA
A Piece, LABA Artists' Space,14th Street Y, New York, USA

Refinement, Aswoon Gallery, Brooklyn, USA
Studio 23 Presents LOL the CommandP BFF 4EVA Portfolio, Transmission Gallery, Richmond, USA
Transmission Introduces Studio 23, Transmission Gallery, Richmond, USA

24/7 Fire in the Hole, Plant Zero Art Center, Richmond, USA
Selected Bibliography

Colaizzi, Vittorio, Joan Thorne, Analytic Ecstasy, Woman's Art Journal, summer 2016
Herriman, Kat, How Five New York Art Couples Share Space, New York Times T Magazine, February 2016

Campbell, Andrianna, Frank Stella,, November 27, 2015.
Hogue, Chelsea, Summer is Over and We're All Going to Die, Autre Magazine, September 23, 2015.
Kopel, Dana, Tangible Textures: Trudy Benson and Russell Tyler at Retrospective Gallery, Modern Painters, November 2015.
Maine, Stephen, Trudy Benson, ARTnews, Summer 2015.
Trudy Benson: Shapes of Things, Time Out New York, April 1, 2015.
Goleas, Janet, Shed a Little,, June, 21, 2015.
Johnson, Paddy and Corinna Kirsch, We Went to Lisa Cooley and Thierry Goldberg: Good Painting, Bad Painting,, April 30, 2015.
Frederick, Jeff, Exhibition Review: Trudy Benson "Shapes of Things" Lisa Cooley,, May 1, 2015.

Johnson, Halley, 11 Must-See Works at NADA Miami Beach,, December 5, 2014.
Consumer Reports: Trudy Benson, ARTnews, November 19, 2014.
Grayson, Kathy, Kathy Grayson's Punk Girl Power Painters, i-D Magazine, August 22, 2014.
Indrisek, Scott, 5 Must-See Gallery Shows: "Go With the Flow" and More,, August 7, 2014.
Micchelli, Thomas, The Familiar, the Boisterous, the Unexpected, and the Absurd,, August 2, 2014.
One Burning Question with Trudy Benson, NY Arts, June 6, 2014.
Luke, Ben, Abstract America Today, exhibition review, London Evening Standard, May 28, 2014.
This Week's Best New Art, Time Out London, May 27, 2014.
Artist of the Week: Trudy Benson,, February 10, 2014.

Rosenberg, Karen, Trudy Benson: Paint, The New York Times, May 9, 2013.
Rivers, Tina, Windows, Critic's Picks,, November 19, 2013.
Goings On About Town: Short List, The New Yorker, June 3, 2013.
Brito, Maria, In the Studio with Trudy Benson,, December 14, 2013.
Stopa, Jason, Trudy Benson and the Nature of Paint, Whitewall Magazine, May 31, 2013.
Michelli, Thomas, Running the Gamut: Trudy Benson's Flamboyant Restraint, Hyperallergic, May 4, 2013.
The Lookout: A Weekly Guide to Shows You Won't Want to Miss, Art in America, May 2, 2013.
Trudy Benson: Digital You Can Touch, Lancia Trendvisions, April 10, 2013.
Stopa, Jason, Whitehot Watch: April 2013, Whitehot, April 2013.
Chapline, Jonathan, Trudy Benson - Navy Yard, #ffffff Walls, 2013.
Markus, Liz, Liz Markus Art Diary April 28 2013, Huffington Post Blog, April 28, 2013.
Johnson, Paddy, 8 Great Brooklyn Artists Under 30, The L Magazine, March 2013.
Studio Cats, Modern Painters, February 2013.

Cover Image: NY Arts, Vol. 19, Fall 2012.
40 Under 40: Pratt's Rising Stars, PRATTFOLIO, Fall/Winter 2012.
Crowley, Huey, Studio Visit: Trudy Benson and Russell Tyler, Beautiful Decay, December 25, 2012.
Cox, Steven, In Dialogue: Trudy Benson Interview, Hunted Projects, December 2012.
Cover image, NY Arts Vol. 19, Fall 2012.
40 Under 40: Pratt's Rising Stars, PRATTFOLIO, Fall/Winter 2012.
Keeting, Zachary, Trudy Benson, September 2012, Gorky's Granddaughter, September 10, 2012.
Meier, Allison. One-Line Reviews: Our Staff's Pithy Takes On "This Nameless Spectacle," "The Feverish Library," And Other Ga Shows, September 7, 2012.
Indrisek, Scott. Trudy Benson: Studio Visit, Modern Painters Daily, September 4, 2012.
Meier, Allison. Three Summer MFA Shows Tackle Painting and its Discontent, Hyperallergic, July 26, 2012.
On the Up: Contemporary Artists We're Tipping for Success, Trudy Benson, Modern Edition, June 2012.
The Digital Canvas: New Technology and 21st Century Painting, Modern Edition, May/June 2012.
Harnish, Tracey. Not Dead Yet: Ten Questions - This Week - Trudy Benson, Huffington Post, March 8, 2012.
Scott, Ron. Contemporary Painting at Oakland University Gallery, art HOPPER, January 18, 2012.
Wolin, R. Joseph. Trudy Benson: Review, ARTnews, January 2012.
Indrisek, Scott. Reviews In Brief: New York, Modern Painters, January 2012.

Keltner, Daniel Levis. Actual Virtual: The works of Trudy Benson, Precipitate Journal of the New Environmental Imagination, December 2011.
Stauffer, Tema. Trudy Benson; the Making of Actual/Virtual,The Mana Log, October 2011.
Vargas, Mauricio. Interview : Trudy Benson, the BLAAAHg, October 12, 2011.
Baker, R.C. Fall Arts: Art Picks, Village Voice, September 7, 2011.

Brennan, Michael. In Conversation: Michael Brennan Interviews, Trudy Benson, NY Arts, Fall 2010.
Trudy Benson "Space Jam", New York Art Beat, May 18, 2010.
Kalm, James. Trudy Benson at Freight + Volume, The James Kalm Report, May 17, 2010.
Nathan, Emily. Material Girl, ArtSlant, May 16, 2010.
Indrisek, Scott. Trudy Benson, Modern Painters, May 13, 2010.
Space Jam, Fecal Face Dot Com, May 2010.
L'ESSOR LOIRE - Trudy Benson, Un jeu de cache-cache - Daniel Brignon - 2021
L'ESSOR LOIRE - Daniel Brignon
February 02, 2021
Voir le fichier
Trudy Benson - Garden in Motion, Paris
Trudy Benson - Garden in Motion, Paris
March 24, 2017
Trudy Benson - Garden in Motion
Trudy Benson - Garden in Motion
April 15, 2017
Trudy Benson - Cosmicomics
Trudy Benson - Cosmicomics
June 04, 2016