Mt. SAC to Unveil Karl Benjamin’s Mosaic Triangle Series

WALNUT, Calif.–––The Mt. San Antonio College and its Public Arts Council will unveil the first of a series of mosaic reproductions of internationally renown Claremont artist Karl Benjamin during an unveiling ceremony on Thursday, May 15, 5:30 p.m., at the Mt. SAC Art Complex, building 1A.

Following the unveiling ceremony, a discussion of the mosaic exhibit will be facilitated in the Feddersen Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Four of the artist’s eight-panel Triangle Series have been reproduced and will be unveiled, representing the first phase of the project. Noted mosaicist Alba Cisneros was commissioned to reproduce all of the 6’ x 6’ square panels, which will be mounted on concrete structures in front of the campus Art Complex to be enjoyed by students. The mosaic project is a living legacy to the art of Benjamin, who was an influential part of the California art scene since the early 1950s.

Benjamin was a painter of vibrant geometric abstractions and was known as a “Hard Edge painter” whose work reflected the relationship between color and form. He experienced early success in 1950s with showings at museums and community galleries in Southern California, but the exhibit that put his work under a national spotlight and gave him a lasting label was Four Abstract Classicists in 1959. The exhibit, which also featured the work of three other Los Angeles-based artists, was viewed as Los Angeles’ answer to Abstract Expressionism and was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum (later to become LACMA), the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, and Queen’s College in Ireland.

Subsequently, Benjamin produced a critically acclaimed body of work that explores a vast array of color relationships. He was also a public school teacher until 1977. In 1979, he began a second teaching career as the artist-in-residence at Pomona College and also taught art classes at the Claremont Graduate School. Later, Benjamin was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1983 and again in 1989, and secured a prominent place in "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Mid-Century," a 2007-09 national traveling show organized by the Orange County Museum of Art.

The unveiling is being held in conjunction with Mt. SAC’s 66th Annual Student Art Exhibition, a juried exhibit of works by Mt. SAC art, animation, and photography students, with an opening reception to be held on Thursday, May 15, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the Art Gallery. The free exhibit runs through June 5. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Art Gallery’s website at or call the gallery at (909) 274-4328.


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