Oil mixed technique on canvas, 90 x 80 cm

Marianne Benkö (1952, Hongarije) – wandtapijten verweven haar innerlijke wereld met de beelden die ze om zich heen ziet. Van een afstand zie je het totaalbeeld: constructies van kleur die bossen, bomen en landschappen suggereren. Van dichtbij resoneert het werk met oneindig veel details. Er ontvouwt zich een wereld vol textuur en diepte, opgebouwd uit talloze fijne draden.

Marianne Benkö (1952, Hungary) – tapestries interweaves her inner world with the images she sees around her. From a distance you see the total image: constructions of colour that suggest forests, trees and landscapes. From up close, the work resonates with infinite detail. A world unfolds, full of texture and depth, built up of a myriad of fine threads.

Textile is Benkö’s passion: it is a material imbued with time and love, earthly and connected to human life. Weaving is a powerful symbol. Weaving and web are all terms that are used to describe life itself. They stand for cohesion and connection. The fabric of society. Human lives as interwoven threads in the fabric of life. The process of weaving has parallels to life itself.

With her tapestries Benkö is part of a very old tradition of woven tapestries, the primal form of textile art. These costly handmade tapestries were used to decorate and isolate medieval castles in Northern Europe from on the eleventh century. They were woven in famous workshops in the Southern Netherlands and France. The green landscapes of the Verdures Benkö refers to, emerged in Flemish workshops from on the sixteenth century and remained popular for centuries.

Benkö was trained at the Hungarian art academy in both painting and monumental hand woven tapestries. For her, tapestries exist in relation to painting; the one can’t exist without the other. Painting was her foundation, but textile offered her more opportunities to express herself. Textile allowed her to work in the largest sizes. The softness and tactility moved her; textile transformed its surroundings. Eventually she chose to specialise in hand woven tapestries and created many works for the public space, most of which she wove herself.

Benkö is an artist that doesn’t limit herself to one medium. She returned to her foundation and started making paintings again. In these she applies personal subjects: her surroundings, nature, the city and far away travels. It is as if she paints her emotions directly onto the canvas. Living feelings, expressed in colour and texture. In the end the paintings are no less tactile than her former tapestries. Multiple layers of paint with added textile details give the work depth and texture.

Her new works in the Verdures series are based on these paintings. A few years ago Benkö once again felt the desire to work with textile. The art scene seemed more free and there was a renewed interest in textile art. New technical developments had drastically increased the possibilities for this material.

Benkö sees mechanised Jacquard weaving as a new way to express herself. Where a hand woven tapestry took her a whole year to complete, a mechanically woven one is created within a few hours using a digitally driven Jacquard loom. The pre-work has become the most time consuming part of the process. In this phase the original design is translated into a suitable digital version.

Marianne Benkö  attended the Academy of Applied Art, Budapest where she completed Fine Arts degree in painting and tapestry and received her Master’s Degree in Art, specializing in designing art for public spaces. Marianne now lives and works in the Netherlands and has re Benkö paintings often encompass the encaustic (wax) painting technique. Art Historian Frans Jeursen, writes of Marianne Benko’s artwork: “Our emotions sweep us along a Benko painting and the experience is like we are sailing a vast sea without detailed maps our instruments of navigation. No star is present to show us the direction and past experience only partly offers us a guide for the future”. Please contact us for additional artworks of the artist.