Benjamin Roth (Amsterdam, 1975) is an abstract painter who uses geometric compositions that are independent of narrative and connotative interpretations. An orderly array of lines, rhomboids, circles and squares relate to each other precisely and apparently without chance. His language of forms is that of geometric abstraction. As a painter he is concerned with, among other things, the construction of a painting. The material plays a directive role. Roth encounters this material everywhere: in his studio, during walks, in hardware stores and in shops for artists' supplies. This is how Roth became fascinated by the basic materials used in a painting and the relationships between the support – the canvas– and the stretchers. Or by materials that he encounters in the hardware store, such as green plasterboard, specially intended for damp spaces, and the available products for mounting this. Roth lets these materials guide him and shows his true nature as a painter by opting for the right form of treatment for a material. With this he pays precise attention to the process and the sequence of the treatment. He sands, rotates, cuts out and fills in, as much or as little as is necessary to arrive at new succinct compositions.
"In an attempt to control an idea by way of reason and evidence, I'm continually dependent on the willpower of material used and to be used, and the sequence in which this takes place. At best I muddle along and bear, in every finished work, the loss of a good idea."
- Benjamin Roth
His compositions are well-considered and technical, yet chance does play a role in the selection of separate elements and forms which then enter into a staged relationship together. The forms and materials can come from anywhere. The manner of treatment is discovered by doing and obtained by means of physical and mechanical actions which cause the works to represent an expression of craft and skill. Many discoveries can be made while looking at a painting by Roth; what seems to be the front proves to be the back, and what seems supportive is directive. That loose aesthetic in the choice of material, form, sequence and process make Roth an exciting and, above all, refreshing artist.
text by: Roos Duijnstee
translation: Beth O'Brien
photo: Machiel Botman