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Benjamin Senior, installation view Under the Buttercross, 2019

Under the Buttercross
Benjamin Senior
30th March – 11th May 2019
Opening 29th March, 6 – 8 pm


Under the Buttercross is Benjamin Senior’s third solo exhibition at BolteLang with nine new paintings. This suite of paintings feature generously described and specific locations. The London suburb and the crumbling seaside town reoccur in scenes that are at once quotidian and dream-like. Borrowed from classical painting, Senior is not afraid to work with allegories such as the superimposed windmills that puncture the beachfront scene to enhance the feeling of hedonism and melancholy it represents.

In Senior’s earlier works of physical culture, figures were represented in groups but isolated from one another, each in a state of introspection and reflexivity. In contrast the recent paintings present greater human interaction either through body contact, such as the roller skaters stabilizing themselves by gripping each other’s arms (Precarity and Roll, 2018), or via objects that unify the activity such as the marionette (The Puppeteer, 2018), the carved stones  (Stone Carvers, 2019) or the beach ball (Breeze, 2018).
Formally he enhances these interactions to the point that the characters that inhabit Seniors paintings often appear fractured, such as the men seen through beach windmills in Ukelist (2018). Figures are arranged together in units of limbs rather than as distinctly separate bodies, amplifying their interconnectedness.

During the slow process of egg tempera painting, the characters that populate Senior’s paintings become part of their environment, taking on the qualities of their surroundings and vice versa. In Breeze, for example, arabesques and curlicues run across the surface connecting ice cream cones, seagulls and blonde hair within a single rhythmic flow.

Unusually for Senior the artist is felt in some of the works through the depiction of the creative process and figurative manipulation such as in the string puppet and chess game in The Puppeteer and the carving activity in Stone Carvers.


Benjamin Senior (born 1982, lives and works in London) received his MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include: Slow Painting traveling group exhibition, Leeds Museum and Art Gallery, The Levinsky Gallery, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Thurso Art Gallery, UK, (2019/20), Benjamin Senior, Monica de Cardenas, Milan (2018),  Black Sun, solo, James Fuentes, New York (2016), La Rue, solo, Bruce Haines, London (2016), Enclosure, solo, Grey Noise, Dubai (2015), Suspicion, group exhibition curated by Dan Coombs, Jerwood Space, London (2014), Parade, solo, Monica de Cardenas, Milan (2015), The Upset, solo, BolteLang, Zurich (2015), Benjamin Senior, Studio Voltaire, London (2013)