Basil Beattie RA b. 1935, UK; lives and works in Mitcham, Surrey
2006 Elected as a Royal Academician 1957-61 Royal Academy Schools, London
Basil Beattie has remained part of a milieu of British artists whose works continue the legacy of Abstract Expressionism. Beattie was a pioneer of a new approach to painting in post-war Britain, having been significantly influenced by The New American Painting show at the Tate in 1959, in particular the works of Rothko and De Kooning. These formative elements would persuade and mould the parameters of Beattie’s work in the 1960s and early ’70s, but it was not long before he abandoned a purely formal approach and developed his own style of abstract painting. The three-dimensional Perspex cube seems an appropriate vehicle for Basil Beattie’s contribution to Cure3, Cubic Thoughts, as he often incorporates architectural elements in his work. Here, the cylindrical forms, reminiscent of Asian handscrolls, combined with the expressive brushstrokes and molten appearance of the marks made, create an evocative artwork which teases the viewer by partially concealing the pictorial images. Occupying both mental and physical space, Beattie’s works are about the dynamics of human experience – our emotions and memories. With Cubic Thoughts the scale of the ‘brain sized cube’ and the concealment of the markings, remind us that untold personal moments are always there, yet need not always be visibly shared.