William Beckman (b. 1942) paints himself, loved ones, and the land he has lived upon, creating edgy portraits and landscapes. His subjects, whether mother or lover, are delivered to the viewer with gripping details, without embelishment. He creates his figurative art using a unique method. He applies paint, then shaves of layer after layer from the surface with a razor, repainting and polishing the canvas to create lustrous, absorbing images. His realism is stripped of sentiment, his idealized portraits scrupulously rendered, and his expansive tracts of Minnesota farmland theatrically scaled. Each painting is epic in significance and matter-of-fact at the same time. This is the first book that offers a comprehensive view of Beckman's art and career. Essays--Boxes, Diana, Couples, Self Portraits, Landscapes, and Drawings and Studies--cluster the work according to subject matter, describing the many ways Beckman has found to bond form and content and enabling the reader to grasp the unfolding shape of his artistic thought. Carl Belz is director emeritus of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, and managing editor of Art New England magazine.
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Contemporary artist Beckman is best known for his larger-than-life figurative paintings depicting seemingly emotionless subjects in meticulous detail. There is something unsettling in the ... Read full review
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Richard V West and Debra J Byrne
WILLIAM BECKMAN Carl Belz 5 INTRODUCTION
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