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Mark Beard
Tennis Whites & Wrestling Singlet (Figurative Oil of Athletes by Mark Beard)

date unknown



Academic style figurative oil painting of a young, female tennis player and young male athlete dressed in a wrestling singlet by Mark Beard (aka Bruce Sargeant). 57 x 34 inches, oil on canvas mounted on Masonite Framed in Black wood frame that measures 62 x 39 inches (this listing includes framed views of the painting, detail shots, an installation view of an exhibit, an image of the Abercrombie & Fitch mural in Milan, and a photo of the artist in his studio) This painting represents a segment of a large mural the artist was commissioned to paint for Abercrombie & Fitch's flagship stores. This painting was featured in the Manhattan's towering mural which stretched several floors. Beard worked on the commission in his NYC studio and completed the work in 2005. Painted in a style that evokes the portraits of John Singer Sargent, Mark Beard is a contemporary living artist who paints under the pseudonym, Bruce Sargeant, an English painter who worked during the 1920's and 30's. The contemporary figurative painting, made in a modern Academic style, features a group of young athletes in the locker room, including a young woman wearing a white tennis outfit and a strapping male wearing a wrestling singlet. Characteristic of the artist's other paintings, the figures' skin tone is painted a slate grey while their cheeks and hands exhibit a flush pink hue. The black painted wood frame is slightly distressed to match the artist's fictitious timeline. About 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.


  • Creator
    Mark Beard (1956, American)
  • Creation Year
    date unknown
  • Dimensions
    Height: 62 in. (157.48 cm)Width: 39 in. (99.06 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Hudson, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU2274297511

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    Ships From: Hudson, NY
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About the Artist

Mark Beard

Contemporary New York City-based artist Mark Beard has long demonstrated command in a variety of mediums — he works in oil paint, bronze, ceramics and more. Beard is known mainly for his portraits and figurative paintings, but he is prolific in figurative drawing and nude photography as well.

Beard was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1986, he began working as a set designer, and for the next decade, he created more than 20 sets in New York City, London, Frankfurt, Vienna and Cologne. As a painter and printmaker, Beard didn’t wish to confine himself to a rigid style and instead sought to explore Impressionism, Art Nouveau and other movements in a range of mediums. In order to freely move from one style to the next, Beard created several different personas, assigning a specific biography to each one.

Beard's most prominent artistic alter ego is Bruce Sargeant, whom the artist has positioned in exhibitions as an early 20th-century painter. Beard's work as Sargeant is a detailed study of the male physique. The paintings often feature sculpted athletic men engaged in physical activities like wrestling and rowing. The work is steeped in homoeroticism, and the artist’s name itself is a reference to painter John Singer Sargent — while he’s best known for his Edwardian-era portraits, John Singer Sargent also created murals and drawings of male nudes that were similarly reflective of a homoerotic sensibility.

Beard is also an accomplished landscape painter. His great-grandfather, George Beard, was a regional painter and photographer of the Rocky Mountains. Mark spent summers at his grandfather's 19th-century log cabin retreat as a child. These formative experiences are reflected in his own stunning landscape paintings.

Beard's artwork is held in many high-profile museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Today, Beard resides in the Manhattan loft that he purchased in 1994 with his partner, James Manfred. It serves as both his home and his studio. The space is filled with his oil paintings, drawings and sculptures.

On 1stDibs, find Mark Beard paintings, drawings, photography and more.

About the Seller
Located in Hudson, NY
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