Russell Tyler  TG3, 2021  Acrylic on canvas  132 x 183 cm / 52 x 72 in
Russell Tyler  PG2, 2022  Acrylic on canvas  61 x 92 cm / 24 x 36 in

Press Release

Trudy Benson + Russell Tyler


March 26 - May 15

Gaa Projects Cologne


Gaa Gallery is pleased to present 4EVA, a two-person exhibition of recent paintings by New York-based painters Trudy Benson and Russell Tyler. This exhibition will be Benson and Tyler’s first exhibition with the gallery and will open with a reception from 5 to 8 pm on Saturday, March 26 in presence of the artists. 


The work of Trudy Benson and Russel Tyler abounds with color, pattern, texture, and light. Concerned with process, material, and the formal and emotional resonance of form and mark-making, Benson and Tyler’s work examines art history and namely, the history of painting and abstraction. In this exhibition at Gaa Projects, artists and couple, Benson and Tyler will exhibit new works in oil and acrylic on canvas produced in their neighboring studios in Brooklyn, NY.


Trudy Benson creates vibrational paintings that are as much about expression as they are about physical tangibility. Exploring material and color through the convergence of lines and textures, Benson’s work reverberates with musicality and exuberance. By applying layers of paint through spraying, brushing, and extruding, her canvases possess an image that can be read immediately while their physicality builds up as one draws nearer to the surface. The paintings serve as visualized thought. In this depth. the process of making the painting and the decisions leading up to each mark and brushstroke is made apparent. 


When writing about her process Benson describes “The diffused sprayed layers don’t feel like a specific picture plane, instead they are a space where parts of the painting can act or perform.” Benson’s insistence on the materiality, surface, and physical space of a painting is in dialog with the immaterial, digital world. The method by which Benson composes images are inspired by cut-paper collage and digital-imaging programs. Utilizing color combinations, flattened forms, and thickly applied lines, Benson underscores the sensory and experiential qualities of painting, interlacing the digital and tactile. 


Russel Tyler explores how surface, color, texture, and process compound to create works that are simultaneously still and meditative. While also implying movement and a suspension of time, Tyler takes a playful and method-based approach to painting. To make these paintings, he begins with untreated raw canvas drop cloth that is airbrushed with acrylic paint. The paint collects on the textured surface of the painting producing a layered and nuanced accumulation of color. Added elements of flattened perspective, sprayed layers, and the seeming presence of artificial light sources simulate shadows, space, and architecture. Through this process, subtle shifts in color are enclosed against each other - adding contrast and depth.


Comprised of geometric and rectangular configurations, Tyler’s most recent work references atmospheric space as well as architectural planes that have been cropped and framed to create dimensionality. In these compositions, color, form, and gradient tones are constructed. The edges of radiant shapes possess an electric tension as colors converse and vibrate in relation to their neighboring forms. Compositions are patterned and repeated to imply a movement through space, reminiscent of a film still, or a storyboard for a theatrical production. The history of painting converging with photography and the study of moving images is somewhere nearby.


In 4EVA Benson and Russel engage in an expansive conversation about painting, abstraction, color, texture, pattern, and space. Produced in dialog with one another, Benson and Tyler’s work explores and expands the genre of contemporary abstract painting. Trudy Benson + Russel Tyler - 4EVA will run through Saturday, May 15 at Gaa Projects located at Antwerpener Str. 4, 50672 Cologne, Germany. 


Trudy Benson (b. 1985, Richmond, VA) received her MFA from Pratt Institute and her BFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University.  Benson has exhibited widely including recent solo exhibitions at SUNNY, New York, NY; Massif Central, Brussels, Belgium; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Ceysson & Bénétière, Saint-Étienne, France; team(bungalow), Los Angeles, CA; Lyles & King, New York, NY; Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece; Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva Switzerland and Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris, France. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Japan. Benson’s work is featured in numerous collections including the Susan and Michael Hort Collection, New York, NY; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME; Aishti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts, Peekskill, NY and the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, New York, NY. Benson is the recipient of awards including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (Nominee) and the Painting Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY. 


Russell Tyler (b. 1981, Summertown, TN) received his MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and his BFA from Concordia University in Montreal. He has had solo exhibitions at Over the Influence, Los Angeles, CA; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Hole, New York, NY; Denny Gallery, New York City, NY; Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris, France; Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland; DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY; Alon Segev Gallery,Tel Aviv, Isreal; Gordon Gallery 2,Tel Aviv, Israel and EbersMoore Gallery, Chicago, IL. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Torrance Art Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Anonymous Gallery, Retrospective Gallery, The Fireplace Project, Ana Cristea Gallery, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, ACME (Los Angeles), among others. His work has been reviewed or featured in Artforum, Hyperallergic, Modern Painters, T The New York Times Style Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail and Le Monde.