Past Exhibitions:

Jul-Sep NOS 2010
May NOS 2010
Oct NOS 2009
June NOS 2009
NOS 2008
NOS 2007
NOS 2006

 

JOHN BEECH

John Beech
Rotating Painting
2007. Mixed media. diameter 30 cm
Private collection

#168, 2004. Mixed media. 16 x 16 x 10 cm
CCNOA

Turning Object
#15, 2005. Mixed media.  14 x 15 x 15 cm
CCNOA

John Beech
* 1964 in Winchester (UK)
Lives & works in Brooklyn, NY (USA)

Using the humblest of materials, from car floor mats to raw plywood, Beech creates objects that are at the same time rough-hewn and elegant, intricately designed and straightforward, dead serious and subtly humorous. His work straddles the categories of painting and sculpture. Beech is interested in "the object quality of things”, in letting form and materials demonstrate themselves. Another important element in Beech's work is his choice of materials. "I'm interested in fusing the visual vocabulary of utility and abstract art," he says. Ordinary objects such as dumpsters and patched subway platforms catch his eye and provide the basis for nuanced works of art. He acknowledges the influence of contemporary masters such as Donald Judd, but sees his own aesthetic as "street level" and engaged, as opposed to the polish and detachment of many reductionists. His aim is to take the absolutely ordinary and create an extraordinary experience for the viewer. Spontaneity is essential for Beech. A piece may change radically during the process of fabrication; accidents and obstacles are viewed as opportunities rather than sources of irritation. In his view, letting go of expectations can often lead to something much more interesting than the original conception. This easy attitude meshes well with Beech's attraction to things that are odd, edgy, and even a bit awkward. The combination imparts a subtle humor to many of his works, an attitude that nudges us to realize that art can be made (sometimes even unconsciously) of the most ordinary of materials, materials that we see around us all the time but usually fail to recognize as art.