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Mark Beard Figurative Painting - Study for Athletes, Winter (Large Mural of Male Athletes in a Winter Landscape)
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Mark Beard
Study for Athletes, Winter (Large Mural of Male Athletes in a Winter Landscape)



Large figurative mural of male athletes in a mountainous winter landscape 84 x 84 x 2 inches oil on stretched canvas with thin black painted wood striping This painting was completed as a working model for what would later become a large multi-story mural commissioned for an Abercrombie and Fitch flagship store in the United States. The white lines represent the outline for the store's escalators. Various men are skiing in red sweaters on the snow covered Alps in the top portion of the painting. The lower portion shows men dressing and undressing in a locker room. The final mural would have reached from the store basement and spanned several floors of this popular clothing store. This painting is a unique oeuvre that demonstrates a striking range of the artist's capabilities and talent for figurative painting. Mark Beard is a pop culture artist who explores sexuality and studies the male physique under the pretense of a different time and era. Beard has invented six different personas through which to express the many facets of his talent. The most prominent, Bruce Sergeant, is inspired by George Bellows and John Singer Sergeant. He produces one beautiful man after the next in a star stunning light. Often times, the characters end up in compromising athletic positions while wrestling or boxing; this stirs an excitement while the uniformity of their rippling abdominal muscles and perfectly toned quadriceps would be the fantasy of any man or woman lucky to be allowed access. The implied youth of the boys in these portraits make it even too beautiful to be true. His collective work that is now plastered on a large scale in Abercrombie and Fitch flagship stores around the world bring the meaning of “eye candy” to a whole new level. Abour the artist: Mark Beard is perhaps the most literal example of an artist pulled in so many different directions that he chose to “invent” six different personae in which to channel his overflowing energy and need for expression. Each painting style is radically different from the next, so it remains entirely believable that the work could stem from six completely different people of different time periods and different schools of thought. With a background in set design, Beard has always been one who could conjure total magic with anything available. For this exhibit, he returns as the beloved 20th century painter from England, Bruce Sargeant, featuring a parade of Arcadian scenes suggesting afternoons of young men sporting in the countryside, rowing, bicycling, hunting or wrestling. Clean shaven, well manicured youths pose casually, indulging every opportunity to display a titillating flex of stone-like musculature. Like modern Greek statues, Beard paints these prestigious figures oftentimes in pairs of twos and threes in a lazy state of beautiful passivity. Mark Beard keeps himself fresh with challenge, undertaking ambitious commissions and committing to weekly sketch sessions with live models in his Manhattan studio. The result of this dedicated practice is a stunning array of graphite and conte crayon drawings on Arches paper. Mark Beard has exhibited with Carrie Haddad Gallery for nearly twenty years and there has never been a dull moment. Mark Beard, born in 1956 in Salt Lake city, now lives in New York City. His works are in museum collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Harvard, Yale, and Princeton University Art Museums; among many others. We would not be the least bit surprised to see new ‘personas’ emerge in the coming years. Condition Report: Overall, this painting is in very good condition. There is an area where the canvas is slightly pulled away from the canvas (please see images included in the listing). It should be noted that the canvas is 18 - 20 years old and has been included in multiple exhibits in the US and abroad, so this wear is considered normal after years of transport and exhibition. The slight wear does not detract from the beauty or overall state of the painting. A simple remedy to hide the area where it pulls from the edge is to have the painting framed with a molding that provides a 1 inch lip, essentially covering the imperfection. The canvas is not currently framed but does have thin, painted black wood stripping that is approx. 1/4 inch and covers the sides of the stretcher bars.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    This painting is in very good condition considering it's age. There is one area where the canvas has slightly pulled away from the edge (please see images included in the listing). Please see full condition report in the listing description.
  • Dimensions
    H 84 in. x W 84 in. x D 2 in.H 213.36 cm x W 213.36 cm x D 5.08 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Hudson, NY
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

4.9 / 5
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2013
Located in Hudson, NY
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