It is a great privilege to unveil this collection of new David Beschi watercolour paintings in celebration of his 80th birthday.
I recall, back in 2012, David announcing it was a time to step back. His exhibition in that year was to be his last. Yet do artists really retire?
A few months ago, I contacted David to inform him of his latest sale. His excitement quickly turned to conversation about a series of new paintings featuring cat-walk models he was working on. Scary! In jest, I reminded him of a ‘special’ birthday coming up and suggested an exhibition to honour the occasion. To my great surprise, he responded with the words, “Beschi’s birthday bash… buy a picture before he croaks!” So here we are.
I first hosted an exhibition for David back in 1996 and have been fortunate enough to represent him and host his exhibitions ever since. David’s paintings typically feature charming, timeless, everyday scenes. Many works are wonderfully animated and whimsical, whilst others are contrastingly quiet and sensitive portrayals. David’s deceptively simple paintings are characterized by a gestural approach, where intuitive control enables him to blend limited detail with intriguing levels of obscurity. His name is synonymous with a restrained palette of muted umbers, warm greys and soft-hued washes, with an occasional, inspired splash of colour. These skillfully executed new paintings offer a glimpse of a lifetime of memories from this private painter.
Early in May 2021, when I visited David’s studio to collect the paintings for this exhibition, several of his sketchbooks were randomly scattered across a table. In fact, he has close to 60 sketchbooks, plus countless restaurant napkins, envelopes, backs of bills and scraps of paper with jottings, doodles, colour notes and musings… the things collected along the way. Sketching has always been at the essence of David’s practice and these sketchbooks are a profound reminder that the paintings in this new exhibition, like others beforehand, are not contrived, but truly inspired by this precious resource; a life’s work.
Thank you David Beschi.
Director – Lost Bear Gallery