The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Exhbiition

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Exhibition

Falls ~ through April 23, 2017

Benini: Time Travels

museum facade.jpeg

Benini's exhibition at The Nave Museum opened May 17 with a member's preview and after-party and continued for more than five weeks.

The front gallery featured recent paintings, including the debut of The Musical Notes. Benini’s tie to his native Italy inspired him to create the Musical Notes series in 2015.  This will be the debut exhibition outside MUSEOBENINI. 

The origins of the musical system of notation trace back to the Italian Benedictine monk, Guido D’Arezzo (c. 995 – c.1050). Before this system musicians had to memorize the entire chant repertoire, in order to pass it on to the next generation. Guido d’ Arezzo’s system replaced letters with notes to be added to parallel lines. He introduced the symbols, Ut, Re,Mi, Fa, Sol and La as names for the six tones C, D,E, F, G and A, the hexachord. Later, “si”or “ti” was added, and eventually “do” replaced “ut”. Benini created paintings that align with Guido’s derivation of the six syllables - ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la, from the first syllables of the first phrases of the text of a hymn to St. John the Baptist.  Utqueant Laxis, Resonare Fibris and Solve Polluti, etc. These were hanging with other paintings shown for the first time.

The second gallery highlighted paintings from both the 80's and 90's to feature examples of the surrealistic and symbolic paintings and those from the geometrics of the 1990's. 







Michael Mueller's Benini: An Artist's Journey premiers the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.




 Following a friendship born at last year’s Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, a trip to the Texas Hill Country resulted in a Michael Mueller documentary that will debut Monday in Hot Springs.

 Benini: The Artist’s Journey was filmed  in December at Benini’s  finearts compound  just south of Marble Falls Texas, edited in 2017, and will premier October 9th  at this year’s documentary film festival.

“I first met Benini in when he and Lorraine attended the 25th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival last year,” Mueller said. “I was hired to create a short film documenting a private reception where they were honored by the City of Hot Springs.”

 “I have been involved with the film festival in various capacities since 2002, and I was well aware of the Beninis' importance in getting this world-renown festival started back in 1992.  Lorraine and I had long talks about the history and preservation of the festival. The three of us hit it off  magically - maybe it has something to do with me being German and Benini being Italian. We ended up spending most of the remaining days of the film festival together at various dinners and events.”

“So, last December I decided to visit them,” he continued.  “I had never been to the Hill Country of Texas and I was stunned by its beauty. I also had the privilege of being one of the first people to see the new MUSEOBENIINI displaying paintings and sculpture from all stages of Benini’s long career.”

“Four hours of footage resulted from several interviews, and after viewing it, I determined it held rich material for a documentary of Benini’s life story. I am primarily a commercial and event videographer,  so this project was a refreshing challenge. And it started me filming other fine art subjects for documentaries – Johann Eyfells and Pat Musick, for example.”

What resulted is more than just a fascinating insight into Benini’s life and career. It is also a testimony to one man’s drive and dedication to follow the path he chose – and in his words, becomes revealing and inspirational to any soul in a creative life.

Benini and his wife Lorraine arrived in Hot Springs from Florida in 1988, bought an historic building at 520 Central Avenue, formerly a hotel built in 1886 that had holes in the roof and was boarded up for years. They restored this 10,000 sq.ft. building according to National Historic Preservation guidelines, and it became an exciting haven for the creativity that thrived in the city, including Hot Springs Documentary Filmmaker parties, Historic Architectural tours, and Gallery Walks for the next 12 years.

In late 1999, Benini, forever prone to change, grew restless and a move to Johnson City, Texas followed. They bought a 143-acre ranch once owned by President Johnson.  The Benini Galleries and Sculpture Ranch, an educational and cultural project, was open free of charge to the public for 15 years.

 In 2014, they moved 28 miles north of that ranch, and are developing a project for the fine arts, that includes 6500 sq.ft.  galleries showcasing  60 years of Benini’s paintings and three-dimensional pieces, as well as an extensive fine arts library and outdoor sculptures on acres of natural landscape. Visits to MUSEOBENINI are available free of charge by appointment to curators, scholarsand art tours -  providing the opportunity to personally interact aesthetically and intellectually with Benini’s evolution as an artist.

It was here, Mueller travelled to capture Benini on film.  Benini: The Artist’s Journey, will be screened Monday, October 9 immediately following a film about the Malco Theater restoration at 4:00 p.m.

 “One of the biggest thrills of my professional career was getting word my film was officially selected to premiere at the HSDFF”, Mueller said.  “It feels like we  have come full circle to be united at the festival again, this time presenting to the world the fruit of our friendship -   that began a year earlier at the same place.”

For tickets and further information, contact the HSDFF office at 501-538-0452.








The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Exhibition

Few exhibitions of Benini's work have been this small, and yet few exhibitions have had such a warm heart at the core of the museum. Bill and Dorothy Masterson have travelled the globe for decades, particularly to South America and Europe to seek out, acquire and showcase in their museum the work of MADI artists and artists who focus on geometry.  Their personal collection, each piece acquired I presume with the care and attention they pay to this genre and its artists, now is almost 3,000 pieces.

Benini's was reluctant, at first,  to revisit and feature work he had completed in the 1980's and 1990's; that is, until the Mastersons came to our ranch south of Marble Falls and dedicated a  couple of days for carefully viewing the work and selecting pieces they preferred for the exhibition.

The Mastersons are now in their 80's and I can't help but think of the Vogels who dedicated their lives to the art they loved. Bill Masterson is an attorney, and the entire first floor and mezzanine  of the Kilgore Law Firm, in the Turtle Creek area, at Carlisle and Bowen, in Dallas,  is dedicated to the museum. Dorothy is the museum director. Their museum is bulging with artwork, and while a plan to build a free-standing museum is underway;  until then, the museum shows four exhibitions a year, with "Benini:Alla Geometria" opening the 2017 series.

The museum catalog features some of the paintings on display with an essay by Joseph M. Bravo, design work by Dreamworks Studio in Dallas. 

The exhibition continues through April 23.

On March 16, Benini will return to The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art for the Arcadia Lecture Series at 6:00. Everyone welcome.






Forthcoming Benini Exhibitions

Two years ago, we sold the Benini Galleries and Sculpture Ranch to Dr. Greg Sullivan and his wife, Dr. Tracy Poe, and we moved 28 miles north to a ranch south of Marble Falls.

One of the biggest changes this brings to our lives is the time and freedom to begin to accept exhibitions again, as we now have the time to travel. Benini has had 162 one man shows to date, and we have just scheduled two more for 2017.

"Benini: Alla Geometria" opens January 27th at The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas.  The show focuses on Benini's work of the 90's in communion with the focus of this museum. His paintings will be in three galleries. The space is not expansive,  but the museum and its collection is held in high regard interntionally.

Bill and Dorothy Masterson started the museum in 2002 to house their  prestigious collection of MADI art, opening their first show with the "Celebration of Geometric Art" exhibition featuring 80 artists from 20 countries. MADI art is either irregularly shaped or is three dimension. It comes off the wall or out of the frame. Carmelo Arden Quin and others founded the MADI movement in 1946 in Buenos Aires.  

The exhibition of Benini's work will focus on his geometric shaped canvases of the 90's. It  opens with a reception at 6:00 January 27 and continues for three months.

For information, contact The Museum for Geometric and MADI art at or 214-855-7802.



Benini's Paintings: The Playalinda Series, 1987

Playalinda No. 1 Benini, 1987  24" x 62" Acrylics on Canvas 

Playalinda No. 1
Benini, 1987
24" x 62"
Acrylics on Canvas 

Neptune  How can I deny the might of the deep  Benini, 1987             34" x 74" unframed             Acrylics on Canvas 


How can I deny
the might
of the deep

Benini, 1987            
34" x 74" unframed            
Acrylics on Canvas 

Giant seagoing turtles rise up out of the sea with each wave, first swimming, and then, as their feet connect with the rippled bottom, they lumber slowly on the beach, passing over the flat wet packed area, to the soft, deep sugar sand. Back and forth they sweep their legs, moving the sand to each side. Soon a hole is deep enough, about 18 inches,  to deposit eggs, and slowly the soft, white eggs drop into the safe zone.The turtle covers the eggs, turns,  and slowly crawls back to the beckoning waves.

In 1987, Benini and I walked Playalinda Beach, a narrow stretch of dune separating the ocean and Mosquito Lagoon, on this Canaveral National shoreline. 

It was quiet that day, rather private…and beautiful.

We first noticed the disturbances. Here and there.  Sand piled up next to a hole, with dried eggs, now brittle and twisted in the hot sun. Raccoons, with their sharp dark claws had come like bandits in the night, scraping and scratching into the precious cache and sucked the eggs, discarding the shells.

As horrific as it was to discover the slaughter, there was to be a gentle promise the loss was not all just painful.

Benini immediately went into an artist's awe mode. He was captivated by the shapes, the contours, the hollows, the shadows, the points and the endless possibilities created by this clash of birth and death. He gently gathered the eggs and cradled them like tender offerings for the goddess of art.

He has them still.

These shells, most likely from loggerhead turtles, became inspiration for the Playalinda series - seven paintings ~ five white, two black, all with blood red centers.

We learned volunteers and rangers walk the beaches during the turtle-laying season and secure wire mesh over the nests to keep them safe from predators. Occasionally, the predators gets there first. In this case; however, the ravaged nest gave birth to  creativity in a new form. ...Lorraine Benini