MOUNTAINS, SHOES AND THE LAUREL & HARDY RULE

New Paintings by Jeffrey Beauchamp at
Dolby Chadwick Gallery
March 2006

I used to think abstraction was rubbish. At school we were surrounded by mediocre Ab Ex stuff so I took solace in monographs of the Renaissance and Baroque. But 17-years-in-the-studio-by-myself later and I've had plenty of time to think about what is maybe rubbish.

For most of its history painting was dominated by the demands of recognizability, that is the material of paint only served to recreate what the viewer already knew... a "tyranny of the eye". What I have come to appreciate about abstraction is that it's not just self-serving indulgence (fun to make, not so fun to eat) but it can be a forum for things the eye has never seen. I know, duh. But for a landscapist who makes up everything on the way, this realization has been liberating. Within the classic tenets of picture making it levels the field between eye and paint, giving the material itself as much clout as our visual expectations. Tyranny, Non!

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Artist Statements by Jeffrey Beauchamp