New YorkTjebbe Beekman: Symbiosis
GRIMM presents Tjebbe Beekman’s (b. 1972, Leiden, NL) first solo exhibition in New York.
Tjebbe Beekman’s paintings are disquiet and complex, comprised of embedded layers of dense paint and found materials. In his latest series of paintings, Beekman’s approach to his medium and subject matter abolish any set hierarchy when referencing the avant-garde art of the last century; in this way, his works can be perceived as exploring a disruptive, even anarchistic mode of representation. Beekman approaches painting with scepticism, analyzing its function while pushing its materiality forward. The works in the exhibition locate a refined line between figuration and abstraction and allow the viewer an alternative perspective and art historical awareness.
Thematically, the artist refers to being witness to the current cultural climate. An undercurrent of societal commentary is present in a group of paintings in which he interprets the seven deadly sins— a traditional representation of excess— through a painterly language of abstract anthropomorphous forms. Each work contains somatic displays of the transgression, or sin, pictured. These extremes of human behavior are wrought within the geometric confines of the canvas, portraying the catharsis of having emerged on the other side of excess.
Whereas Beekman’s previous works deconstructed architectural space and the appearance of the cityscape, his new works are situated within the studio. Beekman tackles the act of painting head-on, juxtaposing Beckmann, Picasso, De Chirico and myriad other artists in densely painted works with various perspectives. Rather than depicting the world outside, the artist takes us on a personal journey. Formal references to the art-historical canon are made to underline the power of artistic imagination, a cultural heritage which provides a moral and ethical compass in these uncertain times.
About the artist
Tjebbe Beekman was born in 1972 in Leiden (NL). From 1993 until 1997 Beekman attended the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (NL) followed by the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (NL) from 2003 until 2004. Awards and nominations include the Wolvecamp Prize (NL), Buning Brongers Prize (NL), and the Royal Painting Prize (NL).
Recent exhibitions Beekman was included in are, Amsterdam: Collected, Capital C, Amsterdam (NL); Where is the Madness You Promised Me, Hudson Valley Museum of Modern Art, Peekskill (US); Discover the Modern, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Top Floor, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Van Cobra tot Boorolie, Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam (NL); Out of office, Singer Museum, Laren (NL); Freedom – The Fifty Key Dutch Artworks Since 1968, curated by Hans den Hartog Jager, Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL); and De meest eigentijdse schilderijen tentoonstelling, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht (NL).
Tjebbe Beekman, Symbiosis VIII, 2020. Acryclic, sand and plaster on canvas mounted to wood panel, each: 202,9 x 103 x 6,5 cm | 79,88 x 40,5 x 2,5 in