Fribourg

Gene Beery, Mere Decoration, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 19 1⁄2 × 25".

Gene Beery

Fri Art

Gene Beery’s ongoing painterly production over more than half a century resolutely undermines the elitism of the dominant art system (and its transatlantic channels of legitimation) as much as it self-consciously expresses resistance to any “high art” convention. The simple material forms, selectively flat colors, imperfect brushwork, and rough, sometimes mottled or yellowing surfaces of his works articulate a peculiarly American nonchalance. The environs of the small Swiss city of Fribourg, which bear a remote similarity to the woods of Northern California under the Sierra Nevada mountains where Beery has lived and worked since the mid-1970s, fittingly emphasized the workaday quality of his “logoscapes,” as the artist describes his paintings of words, which accompanied a handful of figurative paintings (rare for Beery), and a dozen stapled zines in the artist’s first institutional survey,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.