Robert Beauchamp

Abstract head with Blue and Purple

1978 

oil on canvas
29 x 21 inches

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Beauchamp was one of the first and more prominent Figurative Expressionist painters to appear in the American art world in the late 1950’s. His work was bold, inventive, and at times eccentric and wildly humorous. He was greatly admired by his peers: including artists, critics and curators. He was one of those rare individuals who went his own way and developed his own vision without compromise. His output, which was extensive, included not only oil paintings on canvas, but also oversized drawings and large oil-stick paintings on paper.

His early works depicted romantic and somewhat enigmatic fantasies. Later Beauchamp developed a more existential expression in which seemingly unrelated objects, animals and people, were combined in a dynamic tapestry. As he matured, the human condition, with all its expectations, fears, and ironic confusions, became his focus. Beyond the subject, however, there was always the very nature of paint itself, which he used as an emotional experience much as the Abstract Expressionists did. The Beauchamp trademark was his masterful control of the medium. The texture of the paintings, infused with his inexhaustible energy, became just as important as his bold compositions and his powerful colors.

Beauchamp was an active participant in the New York art scene, exhibiting extensively throughout his career. during his lifetime he had 54 one-man exhibitions and participated in numerous invitational group shows. He first showed in a group exhibition at the Tanager Gallery, on Tenth Street in New York City in 1955, then at the Hansa Gallery and the Green Gallery downtown. In the late 1960’s he was represented at the Graham Gallery, and then at Monique Knowlton in the 1980’s and 90’s. The Whitney Museum included Beauchamp in six of their Annual Invitationals, and the Guggenheim Museum included him in their “Ten Independents” exhibit.

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