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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 22 in. x W 15 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 22 in. x W 15 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 22 in. x W 15 in.
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Mark Beard
Tennessee Williams (Polaroid Transfer of American Playwright his Reflection)

1991

$1,400

About

image size: 8 x 10 inches Portrait of Tennessee Williams Unique Polaroid Transfer on 22 x 15 inch Rives BFK paper, unframed signed SM Beard in pencil on bottom right corner, unique print. This is one in a series of Polaroid transfers made by the artist Mark Beard using larger format Polaroid film in the mid 1990s. Mark Beard has been painting figures - the male figure, in particular - for the past four decades. His classic depiction of the male body is based on drawing and painting from live models as well as photographic images. For collectors who are already familiar with Beard's oil paintings, Beard's portrait of the American playwright, Tennessee Williams, does not convey the same level of sensuality as seen in his other works. However, there is still a great deal of intimacy in this photograph shot at close range, capturing Williams' averted gaze and mirrored reflection. Mark Beard, who had been close with Tennessee Williams, used the emulsion transfer process in 1991 on a photograph he had taken of Williams before his death. 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.

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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
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