Mixed-Media Carl Beam

Carl Beam R.C.A. (May 24, 1943 – July 30, 2005), born Carl Edward Migwans, made Canadian art history as the first artist of Native Ancestry (Ojibwe), to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as Contemporary Art. A major retrospective of his work, mounted by the National Gallery of Canada, was exhibited in 2010, recognizing Beam as one of Canada's most important artists. He worked in various photographic mediums, mixed media, oil, acrylic, spontaneously scripted text on canvas, works on paper, Plexiglas, stone, cement, wood, handmade ceramic pottery, and found objects, in addition to etching, lithography, and screen process. Wikipedia

 The direction of Carl Beam's visual style was firmly established by the late seventies. In 1979 Beam met and married his wife, Ann Beam. "In developing his work over the years, Beam has been accompanied by his wife, Ann, herself an artist and a former teacher at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Often they have worked as collaborators" At this time he incorporated multiple photographic images onto a single picture plane. "He disregarded the illusory deep space of Renaissance depiction, in favour of a flat tableau, where a dialogue of multiple images could take place". At this time his photographic imagery was achieved primarily via screen process, photo-etching, Polaroid instant prints, and a solvent transfer technique also used by Robert Rauschenberg. Wikipedia

By the mid-1980s, Beam was working with new techniques for incorporating photo-imagery into his work. He utilized a heat transfer technique learned from fellow artist Ann Beam, with his work on paper and Plexiglas. He also began working with photo emulsion and mixed media on paper and large scale canvas works. The works contained various juxtapositions of imagery from the spiritual, the natural, and political world, and incorporated his own poetic inscriptions and math equations. "My works are like little puzzles, interesting little games. I play a game of dreaming ourselves as each other. In this we find out that we're all basically human.... My work is not fabricated for the art market. There's no market for intellectual puzzles or works of spiritual emancipation" Wikipedia



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