Day 323/365 of Steel – Fletcher C. Benton

Kinetic art

Fletcher C. Benton (February 25, 1931 – June 26, 2019) was an American sculptor and painter from San Francisco. Benton was widely known for his kinetic art as well as his large-scale steel abstract geometric sculptures.

Alphabets - Fletcher Benton
Fig 1: Alphabets – Fletcher Benton

Benton was a part of the Beatnik movement in San Francisco during the ‘50s and ‘60s working as a sign painter by day and an expressionist artist by night. Frustrated with the limitations of paint on canvas, Benton began to work with movement in geometric pattern pieces and boxes which he was familiar with from his work in commercial signs. This was at the beginning of the kinetic movement.

Folded Square Alphabet C, 2013, Enameled steel
Fig 2: Folded Square Alphabet C, 2013, Enameled steel

In the late 1970s, he abandoned kinetic art, switching to more traditional materials for sculpture: bronze and steel. These works are designed to be viewed from all angles and have often been characterized as new constructivism; he worked in this style until his death in 2019.

Folded Circle Ring and L Sculpture, Corten Steel
Fig 3: Folded Circle Ring and L Sculpture, Corten Steel

Some of his most popular series in this style are the Folded Square Alphabets and Numericals, Folded Circle, Donuts, and Steel Watercolors. Benton has his large-scale steel sculptures permanently installed world-wide.

His works are also included in the collections of such prestigious institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, Dc.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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