Granta Fine Art of Cambridge

Virtuoso Piece by Frank Beanland


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Virtuoso Piece

Artist Frank Beanland

Life 1936 - Dimensions 68 x 68 cm

Medium Oil on Wood Panel 

Signed and inscribed Verso

Frank Beanland was born in 1936 at Bridlington in Yorkshire. He attended Hull College of Art from 1952 to 1957 and, after two years of National Service, studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1959 to 1961. Beanland won a scholarship to continue his studies in Stockholm before returning to live in Cornwall, for many years a major centre of abstract art in England. In 1962, Beanland was invited by a fellow Slade student to join a number of other artists in Porthleven and paint by the harbour. They exhibited under the banner of the ‘Porthleven Group’.

It was during this formative period in Porthleven that Beanland became an abstract painter. Previously he had been making sculptural, monumental landscapes using a palette knife, but here, perhaps unconsciously influenced by the proximity of the pebbles on the beach, his images began to fragment. Putting down mark upon mark, layer upon layer he reformulated space on the surface of his paintings.

His paintings were marked by deceptively simple form and colour saturation .
As a result, Beanland achieved his first two one-man shows in 1963 and 1965, both held at the Drian Gallery, London. In 1964 he took up a teaching post at Swansea College of Art. It was at this time that Beanland swapped his palette knife for a brush and his ‘spot paintings’ began to emerge. His focus moved from texture to light and colour. The building up of surface now consisted of putting a spot at the centre of another spot to give it greater intensity. These loose discs of colour, or ‘flower heads’ as he often called them, act like the impressionst’s hasty tache, describing the experience rather than the appearance of the landscape.

However, as Guy Brett remarked in The Times, by ’employing crowded, all-over compositions, Beanland gives his paintings a force more reminiscent of Jackson Pollock than Monet

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