October 25 – November 25, 2012
RANDY BECKELHEIMER: Black & White
New & Recent Paintings in the Main Gallery
WORKS ON PAPER in the Side Gallery
ArtZone 461 Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Randy Beckelheimer’s large-scale, black and white paintings based on historic photographs. They portray San Francisco’s Hunters Point Naval Shipyards, where the artist’s studio is located, and other images related to the history or activities of the shipyards – mainly pertaining to the war effort. The Side Gallery will showcase framed and unframed works on paper, several offered with price reductions.
Beckelheimer has largely been recognized for his abstract, color-field paintings that he showed with the Triangle Gallery in San Francisco for nearly twenty years. In 2005 he switched to figurative/landscape works that are methodically painted and based on the artists own color photographs of the yards and surrounding neighborhoods. In researching the history of the shipyards, he discovered black and white images that left such a strong impact, he felt compelled to paint some of them.
In a context of current, worldwide, geopolitical tensions, Beckelheimer’s goal is not necessarily to make political statements; at the same time intrinsically they do. Randy’s concern is for self-searching and social questioning, making these points almost an inherent element to his works. This investigation of familiar territory – the artist’s studio and its surroundings – underscores the importance of his photos-documenting changes in the landscape over the past fifteen years. They have provided subject matter for the past several years and will no doubt continue to capture Beckelheimer’s interest.
These black and white paintings are the antithesis of the artist’s own color, photo-based, large scale and tightly realistic works that take months to produce. The black and white’s may be viewed as tonalist or monochromatic in style. They are about immediacy and engaging the canvas. The artist starts by slathering white paint, spreading it across the picture plane and then, taking pencil in hand, he loosely lays out the rudimentary elements of the image. He replaces the pencil with a brush and in black paint, plans out the compositional elements he envisions.
In using only black and white, Beckelheimer “attacks” the canvas and tries to complete a painting without interruption, sometimes literally spending two to three days in his studio. While some images may be disturbing, others lean toward elegance. At least as far as one is able to depict the machinations of war in an elegant manner, Beckelheimer has achieved this seemingly impossible mission.
Beckelheimer, a California native, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California in Santa Barbara. He lives and works in San Francisco.
Reception for the artist Saturday October 27, 5:00 – 8:00 pm