Lasting Images - Roloff Beny
Through the museum studies internship program, I am both entrusted with the responsibility and granted the opportunity to co-curate an exhibition for the Helen Christou Gallery.
During the research and planning phase for the 1950s exhibition, I came across Arctic Vertical by Roloff Beny, and was disappointed that I couldn’t include this drawing because it was produced in the 1960s. What I love about this piece is that it reminds me of works both by Vincent Van Gogh, in its parallel echoing strokes, but also of Piet Mondrian’s works, which are stripped down to simplified geometric forms.
Discovering works like this one is one of my favourite aspects of participating in the Museum Studies Internship program. I am continually amazed at the beautiful works that find their home in the University of Lethbridge Art Collection.
Roloff Beny was born in Medicine Hat in 1924 and then spent a large portion of his life living abroad working as a photographer. His formal training took place at the University of Toronto, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Iowa. Beny is best known for his photographic work later in his career, but earlier he explored a wide range of media. The University of Lethbridge acquired many of Beny’s prints, drawings and paintings, as well as works by other significant artists from his personal collection, when Beny bequeathed his entire art collection to the University upon his death in 1984.
David Smith, Museum Studies Intern