Painters Notebook

Painters notebook

… Color as an expressive and symbolic element has always been an essential part of Jan Beekman’s artistic expression both in his early years in Europe and after his extended period of living in the United States. Beekman feels that the European modern art, ‘Color was about color‘. Color was explored for its formal qualities as an essential, yet abstract element of the painters’s genre. ‘Red was red and blue was blue’, they were used for their own sake and not because of a symbolic relationship to things in nature. After his years of experience in the United States, Jan Beekman was impressed by the closeness of art to nature in the American cultural experience. For him, the American natural environment insisted on new symbolic relationships between color and nature. For Jan Beekman colors would now carry potent natural references.

Jan Beekman’s use of the color green provides an interesting example of how his attitude changed after his time in the U.S.A. He has observed that green is not a primary color and therefore not one used in European purist art and not found in the work such as ‘classic’ European modernists as Piet Mondrian. In America, Jan Beekman felt impelled to use green as a strong symbolic evocation of the vast woodlands that surrounded him.

Jan Beekman Notebook

Like many other European artists such as André Masson as Max Enst, Jan Beekman’s experience of the intensity of the colors displayed by the changing leaves of American forests made a profound impression on his work. The rich visual effect of the American woodlands during the fall season offers a spectacular show of reds, oranges, and yellows that gave the artist Jan Beekman a new palette, one that would use to references the variety and power of the natural world.

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