JOHN BEERMAN

JOHN BEERMAN

JOHN BEERMAN
PATTERNS OF THE PASSING WALL/ NEW PAINTINGS

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 13th, 5 to 7 pm
Through January 29th

John Beerman’s iconic landscapes are found in major museums and collections across the country; his Three Trees, Two Clouds is one of the signature paintings at the North Carolina Museum of Art. “I have always found the natural world a gateway to the greater mysteries and meanings of life,” says Beerman of his work.

The title of the show, Patterns of the Passing Wall, is taken from a quote by Vladimir Nabokov: “In a sense we are all crashing to death from the top story of our birth to the flat stones of the churchyard and wondering with an immortal Alice in Wonderland at the patterns of the passing wall.”  Beerman is in wonder of the moments we experience on our journey, seeking to capture these ephemeral images in paint.

Many of the landscapes show his native North Carolina, from coastal Hyde County in the east, to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west. All the works begin as plein air studies which are refined in the studio, and feature the intricate brushwork and subtle color harmonies for which the artist is well-known. This is John Beerman’s third show at Craven Allen Gallery; he spent much of his career in New York, and now lives in Hillsborough.

JOHN BEERMAN
STATEMENT

“In a sense we are all crashing to death from the top story of our birth to the flat stones of the churchyard and wondering with an immortal Alice in Wonderland at the patterns of the passing wall. This capacity to wonder at trifles no matter the imminent peril, these asides of the spirit, these footnotes in the volume of life are the highest forms of consciousness, and it is in this childishly speculative state of mind, so distant from commonsense and its logic, that we know the world to be good.”

–Vladimir Nabokov

This passage by Nabokov, says it all to me. He is describing what I do as an artist, in wonder of the patterns on the passing wall.

In my studio, I experience wonder, indecision, construction, destruction, fervent belief in what I’m painting one day and unknowing the next. One day’s certainty is fleeting, and the next day needs a different color, or more brushstrokes. Some days don’t offer any movement at all, but I search for it in paint. It’s plodding with a few moments of clarity, and these moments of clarity are so evanescent. At the end of the day, I have looked at the landscape (my passing wall), brushed paint on canvas and hope that it communicates some of the wonder I cannot put into words.

ABOUT JOHN BEERMAN

John Beerman is a painter, North Carolina native, and current Hillsborough resident whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. John received his degree from Rhode Island School of Design, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His 35-year career has garnered recognition at the highest levels of fine art. He has received several awards and fellowships including the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Award and the Yaddo Artist Colony Fellowship. His work is in the collection of numerous museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Among other public collections, his work is at the Duke University Cancer Center, the Duke Endowment and the North Carolina Governor’s mansion. He also has completed several public commissioned works including an 85-foot mural for the Milstein Family Heart Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and recently a painting for the UNC-REX Hospital in Raleigh. In 2022 he will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Follow these links to see what authors Frances MayesAlan GurganusNorman Rush and Reynolds Price have to say about the paintings of John Beerman.

JOHN BEERMAN
THE SHAPE OF LIGHT

One of the most successful shows in the gallery’s history, now extended through February 29th with New Work!

STATEMENT

I have always found the natural world a gateway to the greater mysteries and meanings of life. As a painter, I find that nature is essential to understanding the challenges our world is facing–a source of strength, and a reminder of what we are fighting for in these turbulent times. Whether through landscape or the human form, I try to find ways to bring forth light and life.  This has always required a respect for silence. The poem Still Water, by Patricia Fargnoli, really speaks to me. As a painter, I, too, drift from each skirmish with the world/to the diplomacy of light. I hope that my paintings invite everyone to experience the power of nature, light, paint and silence. The world will be the world. I am here to paint it.

STILL WATER BY PATRICIA FARGNOLI

“What times are these when a poem about trees is almost a crime because it contains silence against so many outrages.”— Brecht

And why not silence?
Ahead of me, Goose Pond parts pale water
and my canoe slides through into June sun, cathedral quiet,
soft plums of cloud.
A thin gauze of rain stalls over Mt. Monadnock.

This is the way I drift

from each skirmish with the world
to the diplomacy of light
as it flares off the water,
flickers among the flute-notes
of birds hidden in the leaning birches.

Would you condemn me?

I’ve already held the old bodies of grief
long past morning; leave them
to the ministrations
of the dirt-borers
who work what is finished back into the earth.

Some atrocities are beyond redemption–

you know them already–
the world will be the world no matter.
I want the blinding silver of this small pond
to stun my eyes,
the palaver of leaves to stop my ears.

ABOUT JOHN BEERMAN

John Beerman is a landscape painter and North Carolina native and current Hillsborough resident whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. John received his degree from Rhode Island School of Design, and he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His 35-year career has garnered recognition at the highest levels of fine art. He has received several awards and fellowships including the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Award and the Yaddo Artist Colony Fellowship. His work is in the collection of numerous museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. Among other public collections, his work is at the Duke University Cancer Center, the Duke Endowment and the North Carolina Governor’s mansion. He also has completed several public commissioned works including an 85-foot mural for the Milstein Family Heart Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and recently a painting for the UNC-REX Hospital in Raleigh.