Stroke Tempo (2016)
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Benjamin Senior’s paintings capture people at rest and play, distilling dynamic movements into serene, quasi-classical scenes. Senior’s tranquil depictions of the habits of health— here, competitive swimming— are based on observational drawing rather than photography. This approach allows for a dreamy vision in which the patterns and geometries of everyday life are foregrounded, from the contours of the body in motion, to the swirling forms of interior design. The title Stroke Tempo alludes to the rhythmic pace of the swimmer: peaceful yet energetic, much like Senior’s work.
With paintings that combine serenity and energy with a dash of voyeurism, Benjamin Senior is a rising star of Britain’s figurative painting scene. Focusing primarily on the female form, Senior explores the actions of sports and leisure. Patterns and graphic shapes are foregrounded in Senior’s subtly flattened spaces, inspired as much by contemporary life as by the Renaissance and twentieth-century Modernism. Senior works in the ancient medium of egg tempera: hand-mixing egg yolks with coloured pigments in his studio, in time-honoured fashion, to create a fast-drying emulsion. This thin tempera paint allows Senior to create his luminous, light-filled scenes of rest and play.