Benny Collin (1896-1980) was born in Denmark and in his early years, became an accomplished pianist. Exhibiting artistic talent, however, his parents encouraged him to attend the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen, from which he graduated in 1917. His success there won him a gold medal in 1919 and a two-year scholarship to study in Italy and France, where he attended the Accademia di San Luca in Rome and the Academie de la Grande Chaumerie in Paris.
While in Paris, he became influenced by the Synchromist movement championed by the American artists Morgan Russell and Stanton MacDonald-Wright. The exploration of the relationship between art and music and the discovery of the Golden Ratio eventually led to the artist’s to geometric abstract paintings.
Throughout the 1920s-1940s, Collin traveled back and forth between Europe and America, exhibiting at the Salon d’Autumne in Paris and perusing the art scene in New York and Boston. By 1953 until 1972, Collin settled at Belcourt, a deserted estate in Newport, Rhode Island. This locale also afforded him the opportunity to pursue his painting fully, and while listening to Bach and Mozart, he produced works which he described as symphonic, combining influences of color, form, architecture, and music as the shapes expand, repeat, and overlap until spiraling off the page.
Mathematically inclined, musically gifted, and artistically accomplished, Benny Collin utilized all of his interest and passions to create a unique painting style that he called “Symphonic Form.”