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Beauchamp, Jeffrey

"I used to think abstraction was rubbish. At school we were surrounded by mediocre abstract expressionist stuff so I took solace in monographs of the Renaissance and Baroque. But having been in the studio by myself for 17 years, I’ve had plenty of time to think about what is maybe rubbish.

For most of its history, painting was dominated by recognizability, the material of paint only served to recreate what the viewer already knew, a 'tyranny of the eye.' What I have come to appreciate about abstraction is that it’s not just self-serving indulgence, but it can be a forum for things the eye has never seen.

Though certainly not rubbish, I’ve realized that for me, abstraction is more of a means than an end, an exotic and unpredictable realm that can galvanize the imagination and save a genre like landscape from predictability. And when the right balance is struck in these pieces between the strange and the not strange, I am grateful for the help and wonder if the stuff at school was really that bad.