JOHN BEARDMAN

Orange Tree, acrylic on canvas, 64 x 63 inches 2005-2016

When Pigs Fly, acrylic on paper, 28 x 30 inches, 2016

About the Artist

John Beardman was born in Youngstown Ohio December 5, 1937.  He moved with his family outside Warren at the age of twelve.  He attended Case Institute of Technology (now Case-Western Reserve) and graduated from Oberlin College.  He also attended the Sorbonne and Stanley Hayter's "Atelier 17" in Paris.  He holds two advanced degrees from Southern Illinois University.  A painter since he began on the family farm at the age of nineteen, he earned his living as art professor at: the University of Connecticut, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Oakland University from 1961 to 1990.  Since 1990 he has dedicated himself solely to painting in his loft at 430 East 10th Street in Manhattan.

He has exhibited at various galleries, including one person exhibitions in New York City at: Denise Bibro Fine Art, Allan Stone Gallery, O.K. Harris, the Jayne H. Baum, and 55 Mercer galleries.  In Louisville, Kentucky he has exhibited at the Brownstown Gallery; in Birmingham Michigan at Art Space. He has works in both public and private collections including NBC, Best Products, Harry Bober, Allan Stone, Florence Barron, Cornel West, Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts.  In addition he has received numerous creative artist's grants and fellowships. Testimonials have come from people in the field including Donald Kuspit, April Kingsley, Karen Chambers, Meyer Shapiro, and Albert Elsen.) 

Reviews include: Ann LANDI in March 1999 Art News, Grace Glueck, New York Times, Feb 26, 1999, Art in Review; Karen Chambers in Review Magazine, June 15, 1998; Ken Johnson, New York, Times, Dec 12, 1997; Michael Brenson, New York Times,1974; Jean Herskowitz, Cover magazine, October 1998

About the Work

I am approaching 79 years old and have been painting since I was 19. I have had only sporadic success in the art market; almost none at all in the last 20 years.  I paint to discover an evolving truth about myself. 

For the last 15 years I have worked by and large in direct painting on varying scales, between 4x6 inches and 6x8 feet. Many of those paintings were re-does of older work, often 50 years old.

In doing those works I had the great fortune to be able to visit my past in a very physical way--through the art I have made in the past. To re paint an old image is to search for integrity. Though rarely fun it is my re-creation, and a demanding one it is. How rarely can we recycle our past.

To be completely present with a piece of the past is to transcend time. All time is now. 

Past, present, future melt as I approach a painting done some 40 years ago. I see it fresh and it dictates to me. Where I am now has its roots there. I am its tool. Time slips through my fingers, becomes coagulated, as it were, in the paint--a brush stroke opens a wound that is formed by that which seals and heals it.

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