Bartholomew Beal: Drive Out West

12 - 29 September 2017

The Fine Art Society is pleased to present Bartholomew Beal's third solo exhibition at the gallery. 


In this exhibition, Beal will present for the first time his new series of paintings inspired by the poems of Seamus Heaney (1939-2013). Born and raised in County Derry, Northern Ireland, Heaney is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s major literary figures. Beal has chosen three of Heaney’s poems, reflecting three different branches of his work, and taken inspiration from their text to create a new series. Beal has carefully plucked images and emotions from these three works, using them to construct visual representations of their central characters and actions.  


This series marks a new development on Beal’s previous series based on TS Eliot's The Wasteland and Shakespeare's King Lear. There is a greater sense of movement in these works: whereas earlier works highlighted moments of stillness and solitude, the present series features more bodies in motion, caught (sometimes violently) in the midst of action. However, Beal’s signature boldly-coloured backgrounds, complexly layered compositions, and naturalistic depictions of the face and body remain central to these new works. 


Bartholomew Beal was born in 1989 and studied painting at the Wimbledon College of Art. He was awarded the Jonathan Vickers Residency in 2012-2013 that culminated in a solo exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, won the Landmark Art Prize in 2012, and was named a finalist for the Signature Art Prize in 2015. When his work was exhibited for the first time at The Fine Art Society in 2014, he was the youngest artist to have ever staged a solo exhibition at the gallery.