Scottsdale, AZ, February 14-28
This story was featured in the February 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art February 2013 print edition, or download the Southwest Art February 2013 issue now…Or just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
This month Gallery Russia unveils a collection of 12 to 15 new works by artist Kevin Beilfuss. One of only two artists the gallery represents who were not born in or trained in Russia, Beilfuss has been making a name for himself among the field of Russian Impressionists found at the gallery. “He has a very loyal following,” says gallery co-owner Paul Eubanks. The artist’s second annual solo show opens with a reception on Thursday, February 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the Scottsdale Art District’s ArtWalk.
Though well-known for his figurative works—he won the Gold Medal at the OPA Eastern Regional Exhibition and the Figurative Award of Excellence at the OPA National Juried Exhibition, both in 2010—Beilfuss has been branching out in some new directions lately. This group of works includes some landscapes and figures in the landscape as well. “I’ve shied away from landscapes in the past,” he says, “because they didn’t look like my figurative works, and I didn’t want to confuse people.” Recently, though, the artist has been finding more success creating works that are true to his semi-abstracted style while capturing a different subject matter.
“I think like an abstract artist,” Beilfuss says, “even though the figure is my subject matter. I personally like looking at paintings that have a lot of texture and interesting design elements.” He uses the term “visual feast” when describing works that successfully employ a combination of the design and technical elements that fascinate him. “When I am deciding what to paint,” he says, “it’s usually based on a gesture or an abstract quality. Often the subject is secondary to the design of the painting.”
Beilfuss says his voice and his style have evolved by learning to see differently, and he credits artist Carolyn Anderson for being a strong influence. While attending one of Anderson’s workshops, he stood over the artist’s shoulder one day and asked her what it was that had caught her eye for the painting she was working on. She pointed out a negative space between two models—specifically the shape that was created between the models’ heads. “That’s how I started looking at things in a different way,” Beilfuss says.
With his figurative works and now with his new landscape work, Beilfuss explains, “I want to say less with the paintings and let the viewer fill in the gaps—not spell anything out for them.” —Laura Rintala
Featured in the February 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine February 2013 digital download
Southwest Art magazine February 2013 print edition
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