Robert Beauchamp (1923-1994)


Robert Beauchamp (1923-1994). Mythic Figures, 1965. Oil on masonite panel, 14 x 17 inches. Signed and dated lower right. Excellent condition.



Beauchamp was one of the first and more prominent Figurative Expressionist painters to appear in the American art world in the late 1950’s.  His work was bold, inventive, and at times eccentric and wildly humorous.  He was greatly admired by his peers: including artists, critics and curators.  He was one of those rare individuals who went his own way and developed his own vision without compromise.  His output, which was extensive, included not only oil paintings on canvas, but also oversized drawings and large oil-stick paintings on paper.

His early works depicted romantic and somewhat enigmatic fantasies.  Later Beauchamp developed a more existential expression in which seemingly unrelated objects, animals and people, were combined in a dynamic tapestry.  As he matured, the human condition, with all its expectations, fears, and ironic confusions, became his focus.  Beyond the subject, however, there was always the very nature of paint itself, which he used as an emotional experience much as the Abstract Expressionists did.  The Beauchamp trademark was his masterful control of the medium.  The texture of the paintings, infused with his inexhaustible energy, became just as important as his bold compositions and his powerful colors.

Beauchamp was an active participant in the New York art scene, exhibiting extensively throughout his career.  During his lifetime he had 54 one-man exhibitions and participated in numerous invitational group shows.  He first showed in a group exhibition at the Tanager Gallery, on Tenth Street in New York City in 1955, then at the Hansa Gallery and the Green Gallery downtown.  In the late 1960’s he was represented at the Graham Gallery, and then at Monique Knowlton in the 1980’s and 90’s. The Whitney Museum included Beauchamp in six of their Annual Invitationals, and the Guggenheim Museum included him in their “Ten Independents” exhibit.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The National Gallery, Washington, DC
The Denver Museum of Art, Denver, CO
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA
University of California at Berkeley, CA
American Federation of Arts, Museum Purchase Fund, New York, NY
Herbert f. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Hecksher Museum, Huntington, NYHuntington NY
University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Lamar Dodd Museum, La Grange, GA
Tucson University Museum, Tucson, AZ
The Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
The Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, WA
Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
Provincetown Art Association & Museum, Provincetown, MA
Cape Fine Arts Museum, Dennis, MA
University of Nebraska, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Lincoln, NA
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, MI
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Beauchamp was the recipient of numerous awards including the Fullbright Fellowship, two National Endowment Grants, the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the Judith Rothschild Foundation Grant, which was given posthumously.