Basil Beattie: Pathfinder
Huxley-Parlour Gallery are pleased to present an exhibition of works by acclaimed Royal Academician, Basil Beattie. The exhibition will include six large-scale paintings, that testify to Beattie’s skill as a mark-maker, and to his painterly ambition and expressive energy.
Beattie is undoubtedly one of the most significant and singular abstract artists to emerge in post-war Britain, known for his monumental compositions, the physicality of his paint and gestural use of symbols and signs. Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Beattie brought the grandeur and scale of the New York School to London.
Dating from 1989 through to 2004, the works in the forthcoming exhibition chart the development of Beattie’s work throughout the 1990s. A defining era for the artist, this decade saw Beattie abandon his purely formal approach, and begin developing a new form of allusive abstraction, based on pictorial symbolism, distinguishing himself from his contemporaries. This decade saw Beattie develop themes that have come to define his artistic output: of journeying through space, the passing of time and progress.
Ladders, tunnels, bridges and doorways thread themselves through Beattie’s later oeuvre. His interest in these signs lies with their multiplicity of meaning: that the words refer not only to architectural structures, but can also be used metaphorically to describe psychological and emotional states of being. A number of smaller works on paper will be on view, all of which make use of these complex architectural motifs, and are used to inform his larger works on canvas.
Basil Beattie (born 1935) studied at West Hartlepool College of Art from 1950-1955 and the Royal Academy Schools from 1957-1961. He became a Royal Academician in 2006, and was elected to become a Senior Royal Academician in 2010. His work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including a dedicated display at Tate Britain in 2007.
The exhibition runs in conjunction with Basil Beattie: Cause & Effect, on view at Hales Gallery, London (24 January – 14 March 2020), which charts the development of Beattie’s work throughout the early 1980s.