Tjebbe Beekman

Press release

GRIMM is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by Tjebbe Beekman, opening on March 12, 2021 at our Keizersgracht 241 location in Amsterdam. 

Tjebbe Beekman’s dynamic paintings engage with a range of intersecting traditions while acting as meditations on the present moment. Beekman’s new works are part of an ongoing series exploring his influences from 20th century art, in which he constructs a reality with unexpected turns, distorting time and perceptual space. Beekman uses an associative process of image-making to cross the threshold between history and his gaze as an observer of the world today.

For his recent debut exhibition in New York, Beekman referenced the seven deadly sins in a series of paintings with vivid imagery alluding to each of the transgressions. In his new works, he continues upon this theme by depicting the seven heavenly virtues and linking both exhibitions together conceptually with a central triptych at the heart of each show. Although this series is born from traditional notions of excess or restraint, the artist’s painterly language of abstract anthropomorphous forms allows space for collective subjectivity. Contrasting each sin with its corresponding virtue, Beekman animates the oppositions and parallels between them. He uses narrative as an entry point to interpret these religious concepts and convey the feeling of catharsis upon having emerged on the other side. This tension is what intrigues Beekman, reflecting upon the current state of the world. 

Beekman has always been tuned in to the world around him, and as one who feels deeply, his emotions are necessarily injected into his work. Along with the symbolic dimensions of his practice, Beekman’s methods are anchored in technical ability. He oscillates between figuration and abstraction, building a rhythmic painterly language that accommodates a multi-layered narrative. The complex architectural structures that defined his earlier works, translate into detailed accuracy which is  mixed with the fragmented forms of his new works. As a tireless innovator in the studio, Beekman continues to push the expressive potential of his medium. Layers of paint intermixed with elements such as sand and plaster bring the materials to life as they emerge from the surface evoking the underlying sentiment of the painter. 

This is Beekman’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist’s first major monograph, designed by Irma Boom, will be published in the spring of 2021.