MANFREDI BENINATI, Aziz, 2004, oil on canvas, 71 5/8 x 71 5/8 inches
MANFREDI BENINATI, Mondello, 2004, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches
MANFREDI BENINATI, Eccesidesi, 2004, oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 60 1/4 inches
MANFREDI BENINATI, Addaura, 2004, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches
MANFREDI BENINATI, Leandra, 2001-2004, pencil and acrylic on paper on board, 31 7/8 x 23 5/8 inches
MANFREDI BENINATI, Viva L'Italia Aglaura, 2004, oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 63 7/8 inches
James Cohan Gallery is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of new paintings by Manfredi Beninati. Beninati's figurative works, at once saccharine and acidic in color, immerse the viewer in a dream state of innocence with a lurking malevolence. They embrace the same slippage of reality into fantasy as can be found in the writing of Antonio Ligabue and Italo Calvino or the images of Lewis Carroll.
Beninati incorporates images of friends and family in several of the new works, intertwining 'real life' with fantasy. The paintings are like unchartered journeys which explore the dark side of a fairy tale. Populated mostly with children and small animals and situated in unnamable landscapes, we are given a glimpse into a nether world. Fluid seamless surfaces create a mental terrain riff with psychological underexhibitionss. Manfredi Beninati was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1970. He resided in London for many years and exhibitionsly lives and works in Campagnano Romano, a suburb of Rome.