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MaxBeckman at Tate Gallery  march London
Reviews

From: Jane Devers
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 10 March 2003

Review

I'd heard he was boring and forgotten I'd always liked him as a child. Low expectations conspired to give high pleasure from these paintings. They're very good. Your fashionable young person might prefer Eva Hesse, but that show looks slight compared to this which is the real thing. Why's he good? For a start you look at them and you're not conscious all the time that you're seeing art, and you don't feel the overwhelming selfconsiousness of the artist striving for effect. Beckman makes you enjoy seeing people, colours, things, and paint. You respond to the paintings without, as with most contemporary art, having to admire his range of references and ironic detachment from the medium. He may have painted in another time but his success is absolute, and provides a hard example to live up to. For if art cannot communicate directly, unmuffled and boldly, then it can never again be much more than a witty bauble to amuse the diffident.

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