John Beech
Recent Sculpture and Large Scale Drawings

May 19 – September 10, 2005
at Peter Blum SoHo

Art in Review: John Beech

The New York Times
July 1, 2005

John Beech orchestrates elegant, subtly humorous weddings of Minimalism and utilitarianism. A tall box with a low slanted lip on its one open side looks like a container for parts in a factory. Made of plexiglass sheets painted aqua blue, which are screwed to a neatly constructed wooden grid, it also looks like something Donald Judd might have built. Similarly, a wooden platform with nine rectangular holes built into its surface looks like a palette for moving a piece of heavy machinery, while the glossy orange paint gives it a distinctly Juddesque feeling.

Mr. Beech also presents large photographs on which he has painted, turning images of industrial dumpsters into flat shapes like those you might find in Russian Constructivist painting. And a series of small brightly colored enameled paintings, each made of a different kind of more or less flat found objects, is attached to a “lazy Susan” mechanical device that enables it to revolve.

The absurdist conjunction of idealist abstraction and real-world function in Mr. Beech’s work is amusing; it also affords the deeper satisfaction of seeing Minimalism’s mandarin purity brought down to earth.

- KEN JOHNSON