Howard BenTre

Howard Ben Tré is internationally recognized for his unique sculptures and large scale works of art for public as well as private installations.  Ben Tré is a pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium, and his work is included in more than 113 museum and public collections worldwide.  Among them are the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden; the Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, Michigan; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan.

Ben Tré's work has been featured in 40 solo exhibitions including the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the Musee d'Art Moderne and d'Art Contemporain in Nice, France; the Toledo Museum of Art; the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. His retrospective exhibition, Interior/Exterior, organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, toured five museums, and finished its final venue at the Neuberger.

Among Ben Tré's public commissions are the award-winning installations for Post Office Square Park in Boston, BankBoston Plaza in downtown Providence, and the redesigned street scheme for Warrington Town Center in England, which has won three national awards in urban design.  Other projects include the plaza for Target Corporation headquarters in Minneapolis, and the “Wall of Glass” for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Howard Ben Tré was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1949.  He received a B.S.A. from Portland State University, Oregon in 1978 and a M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980.  He is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a three-time recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Fine Arts Fellowship.  The First Annual Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts recognized his achievements in the visual arts.  Ben Tré currently lives in Rhode Island.

Ben Tré says that the sensuality of Brancusi's sculpture, the translucent, slumping forms of Eva Hesse, and the spirituality in Isamu Noguchi's solitary works, all impacted his thinking.  Ben Tré gives a lot of thought to his work, and his sculptures are carefully conceived.  His two-dimensional works on paper are preparatory drawings for his three-dimensional sculptures.  He says that when he is drawing, there is a point when the work speaks to him and suggests a transition or change in direction.

Ben Tré says that he enjoys the physical aspect of creating sculpture as well as the emotional and intellectual dialogue that goes on between himself and his work.  There is a paradox of senses which come to play in Ben Tré's work - what looks fragile is strong, what appears light is heavy.  As light is transmitted, diffused, and refracted through the dense glass mass, the sculpture takes on a mysterious life of its own.

His sculpture has links with ancient history as well as the industrial revolution, while gracefully moving us into the 21st century with its futuristic components.  He would like us as viewers to be able to enjoy, connect, and contemplate the beauty of these luscious materials and sensuous forms.

 

Howard Ben Tre's' Work

 

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