"Spook Clown Circus Life!" by Ford Beckman 1993 Mixed Media abstract Modernist



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"Spook Clown/Circus Life! 1993
Ford Beckman

Last seen in 2011 when it was auctioned on 11/12/2011 at Rago Arts and Auction Center. (viewable on Askart) The piece has been in storage since
Provenance: CAC Gallery, Chicago; Private Collection, Ohio

Following is The New York Times obituary of Ford Beckman, November 21, 2014

FORD BECKMAN (1952 – 2014)

Ford Beckman, a painter who rose to prominence in the New York art scene of the late 1980's, died Tuesday at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 62. The cause of death was a heart attack.

Beckman was deeply committed to his faith and regarded his artwork as a celebration of that faith.

His first New York exhibitions at Craig Cornelius Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery were well received, both critically and commercially. His spare reductive black and white paintings on plywood caught the attention of collectors including Peter Brant, Charles Saatchi and Count Guiseppe Panza with Panza becoming his largest collector, eventually owning 50 works by Beckman.

In 1992, at Hans Mayer Gallery, Dusseldorf, Beckman debuted his Pop Paintings series: both disturbing and familiar, these paintings were based on mass produced images of clowns. Artnews quoted Beckman, ""The clown is the perfect icon of our time-wonderful and joyous to some, frightening and nightmarish to others.""

From his friendship with Cy Twombly, in 1994 emerged the ""La Roma"" paintings, many which were produced while working in Twombly's studio in Gaeta. While still using plywood panels as a support, a signature throughout his career, the exuberant color, organic forms and gestural drawing of this series paid homage to Twombly.

In the early 1990's Beckman left New York for Tulsa, Oklahoma where he had attended college to better address the care of his daughter, a special needs child. Beckman would continue to make art with exhibitions of recent work at McClain Gallery, Houston and Maloney Fine Art, Los Angeles.

His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Essl Collection, Vienna.

Beckman is survived by his wife Cynthia and daughter Isabella


The piece came loose within the frame at some point and slipped onto the bottom of the frame smushing and bending some of the bottom edges of the artwork


32.5" x 21.5" x 1.5", 28" x 37"