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JRB show juxtaposes order, disorder in 'Pop Target' series

For The Oklahoman
Modified: January 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013

A good interaction between the implied order of concentric circles and colorful dabs and drips which nearly obliterate these target-like shapes, is found in paintings by Ford Beckman.

A show of mixed media paper construction paintings from the “Pop Target” series and other work by Beckman is on view at JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N Walker.

An artist in the neo-expressionist “New Art in New York” group during the late 1980s, who is married to an Oklahoma native, Beckman is currently living in Tulsa.

A relatively un-adulterated black and yellow target with an almost fluorescent pink center, and a red background, provides a kind of baseline in the first work in the series.

Blobs and drips of yellow, turquoise, purple, green and other colors, like gobs fired from a paint gun, make the visual equation a lot more complex in the next five works from the series.

Collectively, these both obscure the glowing circles of the target “given,” and make it seem to pulsate, like something glimpsed on a carnival midway at night.

This process reaches a crescendo in his “Pop Target 7” and “Pop Target 9,” works in which one has to look hard to find the target behind multi-colored, dripping dabs of pigment.

Offering a nice respite from all this color is a smaller, interior gallery in which stark, black-and-white, mixed media and enamel works by Beckman are on display.

A pure black, rounded, subdivided “head,” of sorts, rests precariously on a rounded “body,” in two paper constructions from his “Modern Thoughts”series, for example.

Gestural skeins and spirals of black enamel create a dynamic interplay with the white background of the paper in four smaller works from his “Rhythm of Grace” series.

Beckman is living in Tulsa, working on an art project for the student center at Oral Roberts University, where he was once a student.

His show is recommended viewing during its run through Jan. 27 at JRB.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 528-6336 or visit the website at for information.


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