Benigna Chilla, born in 1940, began her art studies in her native Germany at the Folkwangschule fuer Gestaltung in Essen and then at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. She moved to the United States in 1969, completing her graduate studies at the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has held residencies at Yaddo, the Djerassi Foundation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Benigna now splits her time between Chatham, NY and Kolkata, India. She has had over forty solo exhibitions nationally and internationally.
This exhibition features artist Benigna Chilla’s series of large scale paintings created after a 2012 stay in Bhutan. Her process as an artist begins with inspiration from ancient, geometric patterns found in Bhutanese architecture, textiles, and nature. These recent paintings explore both organic and constructed geometric shapes, which are organized through symmetry. Actual texture is embedded onto the canvas, layered with natural pigments like turmeric, saffron and minerals. The meditative and physical process of painting is as important to Benigna as the final pieces themselves. Also included in the exhibition is a series of black and white intaglio prints and wall installations.