Beckmann Retrospective Artist Discussion at VAST SPACE Projects
Beckman: painter laureate of Las Vegas, of three eras of representations in tidal flows of images of a postmodern America where representation has become reality. In every painting, beauty and splendor shimmer under surfaces that evoke a crushed calm of the true deep. Las Vegas is the city of dreams; the city of second chances; the city where the dust of stars is continually falling; the city most impossible to express but most necessary to express to discover a true sensibility flowing through our society. We must stand thunderstruck at Robert Beckman’s recognition of this necessity, awed by more than thirty years of his vision showing in these master works. Fine art must mean something if the art means to last. Beckman paints what we have made of our dream city, what we have let happen here, and what this must mean— Doug Unger, catalog prologue, “Beckmann Meditatio”
About Robert Beckman
Beckmann is a winner of a number of fellowships from the Nevada State Arts Council and the Western States Arts Foundation. A past vice chair of the Las Vegas Arts Commission, he received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the State of Nevada in 1996. He was selected as the publisher's pick for Best Artist in the Las Vegas Review Journal's 1999 The Best of Las Vegas.
Beckmann is best known for his large-scale paintings in an exhibition entitled The Body of a House, which has toured to 20 museums in the United States and St. Petersburg, Russia, and is permanently housed in the Nevada Museum of Art. In this series of eight large-scale canvases, Beckmann reveals the rapid disassembly of a house by a nuclear explosion on the Nevada Test Site. Beckmann is also noted for a series of murals which hang in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. He is profiled in numerous publications, including William L. Fox's book, Mapping the Empty: Eight Artists and Nevada.
About Doug Unger
Douglas Unger is the author of four novels, including Leaving the Land, a finalist for the Pulitzer and Robert F. Kennedy awards, and Voices from Silence, a year’s end selection of “The Washington Post Book World,” and published in 2008 in French translation by Editions/Phebus as Mes frères de sang. His most recent book is Looking for War and Other Stories. His newest fiction and essays are published in “Boulevard,” “Southwest Review,” “The Writers’ Chronicle,” and in the anthology West of 98: Living and Writing in the New American West. He serves on the executive boards of “Words Without Borders,” “Point of Contact/Punto de Contacto” and The Americas Series with Texas Tech University Press. Douglas Unger is the co-founder of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing International program and Schaeffer Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he teaches.
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Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...