Artist displays diverse works at Ritz Gallery

University Relations

University Relations

Let your imagination come to life at The Ritz Gallery this fall.

“The Meeting Point” is featured as the first show for the Ritz Gallery’s 2004-05 academic year at SDSU.

The show, which runs through Oct. 8, features 17 of assistant professor Fatih Benzer’s works.

Benzer, who teaches all painting and drawing classes, along with art education and art appreciation at SDSU, describes his works as the application of two different approaches.

“I use my artwork to study both figure and nature to create a fine balance between abstraction and representational,” he said. “I also use what’s called contemporary iconography, which is symbols that are a combination of both western and eastern cultures.”

Benzer grew up in Izmir, Turkey, but has spent most of the last 10 years in the United States, studying at different universities. He received his doctorate in art education from Arizona State University and his master’s degree in painting from California State University.

Norman Gambill, director of the Ritz Gallery and head of the Department of Visual Arts, said Benzer’s talent and diversity is a big asset to SDSU.

“His wide range of American and Turkish artistic experiences brings in-depth diversity to our students at SDSU,” Gambill said.

One of the paintings that will be displayed for discussion is entitled “Catch.”

The two main forms in “Catch” are a fish and an outreached hand. Benzer says to him, the fish represents a feeling of isolation and the hand represents reaching out to hope.

Benzer says that, of the 17 pieces featured in the exhibition, seven or eight are iconographic, like “Catch;” the rest are figure and nature-oriented.

One example of figure and nature is a painting of a street with houses close together, with a huge tree as a backdrop.

“This is South Dakota to me,” Benzer says. “I call it “Appearances #2.'”

Another example is a piece with three figures called “On The Corner..” This one is full of color.

“I like to use different variations of colorful and not very colorful,” Benzer said. “That way I don’t limit myself.”

Benzer will be available for questions regarding his works at the Ritz Gallery during the closing public reception Friday, Oct. 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Ritz Gallery is located in Grove Hall, south of the SDSU Student Union parking lot between Mathews Hall and Brown Hall.

The gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.