ClampArt is pleased to announce “Mark Beard: Alter Egos”—the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery.
A visit to Mark Beard’s studio is akin to discovering Michelangelo’s lair: oil paintings cover the walls; life drawings are scattered on the tops of tables nestled at the feet of heroic bronzes; and ceramics and architectural maquettes abound—virtuosity in every medium. But then it gets even more interesting. Beard’s talents and artistic energy are in such abundance that over twenty years back he began channeling his creative output into a variety of alter egos. The persona of “Bruce Sargeant” was the first conceived—an imaginary British artist born in 1898 and a contemporary of such intellectuals as E.M. Forster, Rupert Brooke, and John Sloan. Then came Sargeant’s teacher, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon (1849-1930), a 19th-century French Academician. The fraternity continued to grow with other students of Michallon’s, such as Edith Thayer Cromwell (1893-1962), an American avant-garde painter and close friend of Sargeant’s; in addition to Brechtholt Streeruwitz (1890-1973), a troubled German Expressionist and arch-rival of Beard’s original alter ego. Mark Beard is certainly unprecedented, but not singular. Accomplished in every medium, he is more than a complete artist—he is now at least eight or nine, working in as many distinct and unique styles.
“Alter Egos” at ClampArt is a showcase of works by Beard’s first five personae—Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938), Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon (1849-1930), Edith Thayer Cromwell (1893-1962), Brechtholt Streeruwitz (1890-1973), and contemporary African-American painter Peter Coulter (b. 1948). However, recently more artists have emerged, and the exhibition will feature paintings by Beard’s newest personalities, including the Hudson River School painter Beard Beard (b. 1885), the queer contemporary figure Buggereau (b. 1956), and transsexual graffiti artist Princess Ormalu (b. 1979).
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1956, Mark Beard is a well-established artist living in New York City with artworks in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Princeton University, New Jersey; among many, many others.