Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 2016
As William Wright explained in 2014 “John (Beard) is a painter ... who you need to find, you need to discover. I have been watching over the years you get this sense of looking ... over time, you see it takes on another dimension. John is an artist like that.”
Kon Gouriotus, Profile magazine February 2016
A response from Barry Pearce, former Head Of Australian Art AGNSW
John's vision of The Raft of the Medusa allows one to inhabit the horrifying, almost uninhabitable Romantic grandeur of the great masterpiece and comprehend its powerful beauty better. No mean feat.
Detail (approximate size 40x52cm) from After the Raft of the Medusa (size of complete work 500x700cm)
I recalled the Kenneth Clark passage regarding Velasquez when standing in front of your panels based on The Raft of the Medusa; thinking about Manet looking at Velasquez and how his revelation of the Spanish master's texture, yet reining in the energy of execution with hard borders had such a quintessential influence of the modern movement in France ( a bit like Delacroix's response to Constable I suppose).
I think in your own way you too are looking to unravel the mystery of these great masterpieces but you secure the vision through a delicate system of tessellated marks, a process of engagement in your own language which is totally legitimate. Further, you seem to transmute an overpowering Romantic statement into something intimate. Quite miraculous really, like climbing inside and being caressed and absorbed by Gericault's neurones. Kenneth clark regarding Velasquez....
Kenneth Clark......One should be content to accept it without question, but one cannot look for long at Las Meninas without wanting to find out how it is done. I remember that when it hung in Geneva in 1939 I used to go very early in there morning, before the gallery was open, and try to stalk it, as if it were really alive. (This is impossible in the Prado, where the hushed and darkened room in which it hangs is never empty.) I would start from as far away as I could, when the illusion was complete, and come gradually nearer, until suddenly what had been a hand, and a ribbon, and a piece of silver, dissolved into a salad of beautiful brush strokes. I thought I might learn something if I could catch the moment at which this transformation took place, but it proved to be as elusive as the moment between waking and sleeping.
Looking at pictures
London, John Murray 1960 pp 36-37 and sleeping
Photogravure etching from John Beard’s painting After The Raft of the Medusa ( in collaboration with Bill Moseley )
In collaboration with Bill Moseley, artist and master printer, the exhibition includes two editions of photogravure copper plate etchings ( one in red the other in black ) and a unique state ‘ambrotype’ consisting of 24 glass panels.