Forum Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of twenty-one paintings and drawings by William Beckman (b. 1942) and Gregory Gillespie (1936-2000), recognized as two of America’s most exceptional figurative painters of modern times. William Beckman and Gregory Gillespie shared the power to illuminate life through revelatory focus on its organized detail above and beneath the surface of the individual subject. Opening on Thursday, November 16, 2023, and continuing through Saturday, January 6, 2024, the exhibition celebrates their friendship and art with landmark works spanning seven decades.
“(Gregory Gillespie) is one of the few painters who ultimately ended up as an artist, in the true sense of an artist as a creator of concepts and an originator of thought.”
“(William Beckman) could paint the blond hair on his head or beard, and he could paint a whole room or a landscape reflected in the eyes. His focus and concentration are incredible. So you push your own limits, and you feel content with what you’re doing; and then somebody else pushes it even further.”
“Beckman neither memorializes nor allegorizes. He never sacrifices the look of things to a fantasy about invisible depths. A straight-ahead realist, he is unswervingly devoted to the visible…Beckman makes the kind of images that convince at first glance.”
_Carter Ratcliff, art critic, writer, poet, contributing editor of Art in America
“Gregory Gillespie (was) an artist whose probing, urgent, often bizarre paintings occupied a singular place in the history of late-20th-century representation.”
_Roberta Smith, obituary for The New York Times, April 29, 2000