The Desire Path is the first solo exhibition of the British artist Helen Beard, her artistic practice covers different media, including collages, sculptures, ceramics, and needle-point pens, while it focuses on her paintings and features works of various sizes from small study rooms to large canvases. The painter’s small acrylic paintings are her preliminary research on canvas and oil painting, and she instinctively chooses the color of the composition.
Her image lies between abstraction and performance, reduced to vivid and vivid colors. Starting from the discovered images, Beard stares at the film work with close-up shots and interesting angles, which reveals her past experience as an assistant art director in the film industry.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of Beard oil painting is the brushstrokes visible on the otherwise densely painted surface. After the transition from acrylic paint to oil in 2008, the beard began to experiment with the texture of the painting, creating a completely different feeling on the surface of the canvas. As Beard said in an interview in 2018: “[Strokes] are almost like touches on the skin, like fingerprints.” These brushstrokes are contrary to the vitality and excitement brought by the artist’s choice of theme and palette. It brings a gentle touch to the abstract scene and creates a fascinating tension to celebrate human instinctive fascination with sex and its affirmation of life.
The exhibition marked the beginning of the joint meeting of the artist representing the Benelux countries in Reflex Amsterdam. On the occasion of the exhibition, the gallery will publish Beard’s first monograph, including Matt Carey-Williams’ essays.