Duke Beardsley | What It Just Might Be: Clandestine Machinations From The Lost Trail To Nowhere: Artist Reception: Thursday, March 3, 7-9pm

28 February - 12 March 2022 Scottsdale

Solo Exhibition | Scottsdale, AZ


Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present a solo exhibition for Denver artist Duke Beardsley, opening February 28th.


Please join us for an Artist Reception, Thursday, March 3 from 7-9pm.


What It Just Might Be: Clandestine Machinations From The Lost Trail To Nowhere


The more Duke Beardsley paints cowboys, the less he knows about them—the more their iconicity unravels, the less control he exerts. Each new canvas finds the figures dismantling further. “I’m breaking the cowboy iconography that I have worked on for so long from any foundation it might have had,” he says. 


Amid this unbuilding, surprises percolate. “So many things are popping up as possible or even essential to the investigation.” 


Ambiguity pervades this moment in his decades-deep process. As an influential artist recently advised him: Don’t put it on autopilot. Don’t revert to the tried and true. Don’t paint to finish. Don’t get panicky. Live in the uncertainty. Be OK with not knowing where you’re going. Trust that you’ll know once you get there.


Or as he counseled an emerging artist from Santa Fe who had set a target number of paintings to produce that year: “That’s a great goal but try to achieve it by the end of March,” Beardsley told him. “The hope is that by painting so much, there will be one element of each painting that you like or learned from.”


Unbounded processing as process. Paintings more about their making than their completion, more about creative curiosity, less about a resolute vision. Incursions into seeming dichotomies like play and intention, spontaneity and gravitas. All expressed in the exhibition title, “What It Just Might Be: Clandestine Machinations From The Lost Trail To Nowhere.”


In such flux, silhouettes recede and reappear. Grids and edges dissolve. Layers accumulate, sometimes revealing tantalizing texture. Values diverge and juxtapose. Key elements go missing. Strings of riders, once considered subordinate to a hero, assert themselves with opacity and authority. They take on an agency all their own. “If there is a consciousness for me, Beardsley says, “it’s to authorize that agency.”


Questions abound: What is all this experimentation, accumulation, investigation doing? To the painting? To the viewer?


Beardsley evades answers: “For me, the best way forward is to stay unfamiliar and unconventional.”


Pre-sales available. Contact the gallery for more details, (480) 949-1256, az@altamiraart.com.