|Death Date: August 29, 2013
|Jack Beal was born in Richmond, Virginia and as a young child he was often ill with ear infections and to take his mind off the pain his mother encouraged him to draw. Although his drawing talent set him apart from his peers, Beal might never have become an artist if a professor at the College of William and Mary had not changed his life by telling him to leave school and go to The Art Institute of Chicago. Beal followed his advice and there he learned to create in the Abstract Expressionist style.
Jack Beal became one of the first American artist to renounce Abstract Expressionism. Since this time, this devoted realist has deftly handled space and created sophisticated composition to revive the art of pictorial narration and to make the world inside the canvas nearly as real as the world beyond it as he once said.
Eventually Beal began to move toward figuration in his work and is now considered ‘a realist’s realist’. Beal will tell you “I have never been able to achieve the level of naturalism I would like”. His heroes in the realm of realism are the 17th-century Dutch painters. Beal said “they seem to have painted just as naturally as we eat or drink. There is a quality of believability in those paintings”.
However, Beal’s pushing of representational forms to their interface with abstraction has been responsible for the creation of some of the most striking and unusual images.