John Beech
That and This

March 17 – May 5, 2007

Peter Blum Chelsea

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition John Beech--That and This: New Work opening on March 17th at Peter Blum Chelsea, 526 West 29th Street, New York. This is Beech’s third exhibition with Peter Blum.

John Beech creates objects that fuse aspects of utility and abstraction. In Foam Block, 2007, Beech encases a yellowish found foam block in plexiglass, adding strips of silver taping. This juxtaposition of industrial materials with dispensable objects results in a conflation of seemingly unrelated qualities: abstraction and functionalism. Beech’s often surprising material combinations impart a subtle humor to many of his works. For example, Blanket Bar, 2007—a 12 feet horizontal plexiglass box that encloses three different blankets—is partially covered with green enamel paint. This work playfully merges painterly and sculptural properties and raises questions about the definitions of these media. In another group of works entitled Coated Drawings, Beech continues his interest in blurring pictorial and art historical categories by painting over large-scale black and white photographs of urban environments.

 In the front gallery a series of smaller sculptural objects Turning Discs, Turning Objects, and Paint Rag Cases will be on display. Here moments of precision are contrasted with sections of rawness that reveal Beech’s process and expose the structure of his objects. Within this body of work paint spills and splatters add textural nuances. Flexibility and spontaneity are crucial to Beech’s practice. He deliberately embraces accidents and obstacles that arise during fabrication and thinks of them as opportunities of artistic potential. 

John Beech was born in Winchester, England in 1964. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated in 1986 from the University of California, Berkeley, CA. Awards include the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 1999 and the Chinati Foundation Residency in 1998. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including a one-person exhibition at the Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst in Reutlingen, Germany, and group shows at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, Illinois; and the Sculpture Center, New York, NY. Currently John Beech’s work is part of the exhibition The Photograph as a Canvas at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut.