Watercolors Master - Beni Gassenbauer
Beni Gassenbauer, born in France in 1949 and settled in Jerusalem in 1976.
Gassenbauer’s medium is watercolor on paper and he very ably applies transparent layers of paint to create a very rich texture of sharp-focus images. He conveys a sense of drama and adventure in his color application, moving a seemingly random but nevertheless deliberate and rich pigment in the water puddle from the pale pinks of the morning light to the deep, dark shadows created by the harsh Mediterranean sun. This is Gassenbauer’s magic. His tools cannot be more prosaic, but with these simple elements he transforms the paper into a seemingly boundless field of space and light.
Gassenbauer seduces the viewer to pause and take notice of all the details - a tree, a rock, a wall, or the distant mountains enveloped in the special hue of desert light. The sheer accumulation of details gives a sense of energy and animation to the unpeopled compositions.
Particularly impressive, both from a visual and technical standpoint, is the artist’s interplay between the two-dimensional paper and the three dimensional space.
Here, as in other works, Gassenbauer’s meditation on nature, while not intentionally religious conveys in it the immanence of the sacred.