New York, NY - From March 20 to April 26, 2014, Forum Gallery will present an exhibition of 16 new works by William Beckman. The 12 oil paintings and 4 pastel landscapes included, all completed since 2008, are a testament to Beckman’s singular power and innovation in the fifth decade of his New York exhibition history.
William Beckman’s principal concern has long been the human figure, and the present exhibition is no exception. In addition to three portraits and two important self-portraits, two major panel paintings continue the artist’s signature Studio series. Life-size figures inhabit these paintings; the Artist, his model and his work environment join to confront the viewer and inspire the work.
The Studio paintings give rise to smaller still-life paintings that focus tightly on Beckman’s own materials. The four still lifes in this exhibition are the first in the genre that the Artist has exhibited publicly; on closer look, they display endless contradictions; they are active, energized abstractions as much as paintings of vessels, paint tubes and brushes.
Born in rural Minnesota on a working farm, William Beckman depicts the midwestern farm landscape with unequalled authenticity. The five landscapes in the exhibition (four are pastels) reflect his intimate knowledge of the grain fields and plowed earth of the working farm. In heightened, dramatic fashion, one of the self-portrait paintings incorporates the Artist in large scale with the Minnesota landscape in the background.
William Beckman’s mature eye for detail and controlled, intense brush provide volumetric communicative expression and dynamics. The artist confronts and dominates through eye contact, bold color and unyielding surface. This Recent Works exhibition, his 19th solo show in New York since 1969, celebrates the debut of William Beckman Drawings: A Retrospective, 1967–2013, opening May 18, 2014, at The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA. The drawings exhibition continues through September 7, 2014, and travels to the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR, from October 17, 2014, to February 1, 2015. A 112-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
William Beckman’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; the Des Moines Art Center; the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; The Milwaukee Art Museum; The National Portrait Gallery, Washington; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and many others throughout the United States and in Europe.