Bill Beckley, American (1946 - )

Bill Beckley

The watercolor images we have collected from Bill Beckley are the personal imagery and private mythology of a lively developing intellect and spirit. Beckley's paintings, like rainbows, are illusions to make wishes on and dreams to pursue. Beckley is continuously experimenting with various media. He has been associated internationally with "Story Art", "Conceptual Art" and "Photo-Narrative Art". He uses large photographic images and text in a more accessible and amusing context than his conceptual counterparts who are more concerned with the philosophical use of language and image. Beckley has succeeded by making his personal iconography both interesting and mysterious. Bill Beckley's magic is in this dreamy maze of fact and fantasy. His inquiry into romanticism turn our senses to a higher sphere of thought and feeling. His highly acute sensitivity allows the viewer to penetrate and uncover the inverted sensual references, distortions and fallacies that are a synthesis and a barometer for our notions of romance. Using this magical osmosis Beckley can charge these rather subtle pieces with an electric current of psychic energy. He can convey the whisper of a dream, a scrap of a letter, a recollection of an incomplete poem that vaporizes into the recesses of the senses. To remain a viable expressive form, art needs to explore, incorporate technology. Art has always been a testing ground for new ideas and the most renowned artists have always been those who by resolving current contemporary visual problems successfully have developed new references in art.

Beckley understands art history and knows that all problems relating to space, color and form have been resolved. He has combined new and old vocabulary references to create an art form which is peculiarly his own. His work has the magnetic majesty that can split open the secrets of a suspended moment in time. One always comes away from a Beckley painting bewildered, enriched and a little wiser.

Bill Beckley's work was recently included in the Whitney Museum of American Art 1979 Biennial, an invitational survey of the most important and provocative American paintings done over the past two years. The Biennial is designed to provide a construct for better understanding of the diversity that characterizes the art of this period and is considered internationally to be one of the most important collective exhibitions in the world.

    INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS
  • 1979
    • Nigel Greenwood, London, England
  • 1979
    • Hans Mayer, Denise Rene, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • 1978
    • Gallery 67, Bologna, Italy
  • 1978
    • Hans Mayer, Denise Rene Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • 1978
    • Art in Progress, Munich Museum of Modern Art, Germany
  • 1978
    • Verd Munru, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1977
    • Lucio Ameho, Naples, Italy
  • 1977
    • Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London, England
  • 1977
    • Daniel Templon, Paris, France
  • 1977
    • Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf
  • 1976
    • D'Alessandro-Ferranti, Rome, Italy
  • 1976
    • John Gibson Gallery, New York
  • 1975
    • Yvon Lambert, Paris, France
  • 1975
    • Patrick Verselst/Marc Poitier dit Caulier, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1975
    • Performance, Steinway Hall, NY
  • 1975
    • Francoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
  • 1975
    • Gallerie 20, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1974
    • Gallerie 20, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1974
    • Performance, Francoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
  • 1974
    • John Gibson Gallery New York
  • 1973
    • John Gibson Gallery, New York
  • 1973
    • Nigel Greenwood, London, England
  • 1973
    • Konrad Risher, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • 1972
    • Performance, 98 Greene Street, NY
  • 1972
    • Installation, 112 Greene Street, NY
  • 1972
    • Performance, Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne, Germany
  • 1972
    • Gallerie 20, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1972
    • Francoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
  • 1971
    • 93 Grand Street, Organized by Willoughby Sharp, New York
  • 1969
    • Wabash Transit Gallery, Chicago Art Institute School, Illinois Collective Exhibitions
  • 1979
    • Whitney Museum Biennial, NY
  • 1979
    • "Acquisition of the 70's", Whitney Museum, New York
  • 1979
    • Story Art, Bonn, Germany
  • 1979
    • Story Art, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1977
    • "Documenta", Kassel, Germany
  • 1977
    • "Photographic Works", Gallery Nancy Gillespie, Elizabeth deLaage, Paris, France
  • 1977
    • "Three Artists Using the Photograph", Alberta College of Art Gallery, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 1977
    • "American Art in Belgium", Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium
  • 1977
    • "Narrative Art", organized by Paul Schimmel, Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas
  • 1977
    • "The Dada/Surrealist Heritage", Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • 1977
    • "New Art for Jimmy Carter", Georgia Art Museum, Athens, GA
  • 1977
    • "Art of the Seventies", P.S.l., NY
  • 1976
    • "Narrational Imagery: Beckley Ruscha, Warhol", University of Massachusetts, Amherst (organized by Sam Hunter)
  • 1976
    • Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
  • 1976
    • "Sequenced Photographs", University Art Museum, Austin, Texas
  • 1976
    • "Sequenced Photographs", San Francisco Art Museum, San Francisco, California
  • 1976
    • "The Artist and the Photograph", Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • 1975
    • "Camera Art", Lund Kunsthalle, Sweden
  • 1975
    • "Sequenced Photographs", University of Maryland Gallery, College Park
  • 1975
    • "Toys", The Clocktower, NY
  • 1975
    • "Report from Soho", Grey Art Gallery, NY University NY
  • 1975
    • "Word, Image, Number", Sarah Lawrence Gallery Bronxville, NY
  • 1975
    • "Narrative in Contemporary Art" University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • 1974
    • "Narrative 2", John Gibson Gallery New York
  • 1974
    • "Photographic Art", organized by Flash Art, Milan, Italy
    PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
  • Museum of Modern Art, NY
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
  • Kunst Museum, Basel, Switzerland
  • Kreifeld Museum, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

    Artist's Gallery

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