new-york

John Beech

Peter Blum Gallery

On the evidence of his recent exhibition at Peter Blum, I suspect John Beech is trying to one-up Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, and just about every abstract painter who’s ever lived. He cleverly constructs what can look like (and what very occasionally incorporate) found objects (mostly Dumpster containers, but also car bumpers and roller-skate wheels) but ultimately constitute examples of his “concrete art.” Fabricating, coloring, and positioning them with great care in relation to the surrounding space, and juxtaposing them artfully with one another, he suggests that one can always tease an expressively empty sculpture out of an everyday functional object. Beech also paints over large original photographs of Dumpsters to create ghostly abstract presences in mundane realistic settings. These perversely beautiful works isolate, to paraphrase Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s line about the purpose

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