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Sarah Benham

b. 1941 , New Orleans , LA

Sarah Benham is a Massachusetts-based artist whose straightforward figurative paintings subtly portray suburban New England society. Drawing inspiration from painters such as David Hockney and Alex Katz, Benham populates her soft, abstracted beaches, art galleries and living spaces with stylized, often faceless characters. While some of her figures are portrayed with defining features such as eyes or mouths, Benham’s brushy, abstracted, almost weightless subjects illustrate cheeky, familiar archetypes of the New England social scene. Benham describes her work as having, “an implied narrative and like a fleeting memory, there is a lack of specificity and detail. It is this lack of detail which allows viewers the opportunity to place themselves within these environments and to meander through her rich tableaux.

The Pink Dress, "The Pink Dress," oil on canvas

The Pink Dress

Sarah Benham, "Farmhouse," oil on canvas


Sarah Benham, "Portrait of a Man," oil on canvas

Portrait of a Man

Sarah Benham, "Tidewater Farmhouse," oil on canvas

Tidewater Farmhouse

Sarah Benham, "Lyerly and Susie. South Dartmouth, 1981," chromogenic print

Lyerly and Susie. South Dartmouth, 1981