Patricia Bender


Patricia A. Bender is a photographic artist living and working in New Jersey and Michigan. She began studying photography in the early 2000s, and was hooked from the moment she shot and developed her first image. She works exclusively in the darkroom with black and white media, and personally creates each image from the moment it is conceived through the finished gelatin silver print.

Bender has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards for her work. Her work has been published in several publications, including Harper’s Magazine, and is held in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as many other public, corporate, and private collections.

Artist Statement
The mysterious ability of abstraction to move the human heart and mind has always fascinated me.  When I photograph a beautiful tree I understand why people respond.  After all, it’s a beautiful tree.  When I create a photogram of a simple circle bisected by a line I have no understanding why it moves me or others, but it can.  I love the cryptic nature of the conversation between art and emotion.  Agnes Martin spent a lifetime creating her simple, mesmerizing, rectangular grid paintings in an effort to depict happiness on a canvas.  What a glorious pursuit, and she captured it with a simple rectangle!

In the work shown here, all created this year, I have been exploring geometric abstraction, trying to figure out what I might create with just lines, circles, triangles and squares.  The process is completely intuitive.  I add and subtract shapes and layers until somehow they seem right.  When it feels complete I stop and move on.  The exciting and wonderful thing about creating geometric abstracts is the possibilities are infinite. A simple circle can spawn endless images.  I guess I’ll be at this for some time to come.