Precarious Balance by Jan Beekman

March 29 – May 24

Alva Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Precarious Balance, a new exhibition of work by Jan Beekman. The opening reception will be from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 29th.

Jan Beekman, a native of Belgium, currently lives in the midst of a deep woods in Southeastern Connecticut. While he studied traditional drawing and painting at the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Brussels, his style is far from academic. Beekman’s paintings allude to the real, but are shaped by the transparency of light, the lines of shadow and the tactile nature of the nature that surrounds him. Beekman comments, “Today I live surrounded by trees, rocks and the sky, with only the sound of the waterfall and birds.Living in this environment has had a great effect on my thoughts and painting. A certain friability has come into my work, expressing the fragility of our human and natural condition.”

Precarious Balance presents more than a dozen new works. One large oil painting, rich in color, reveals semi-representational tree shapes camouflaged in an abstracted forest. Several acrylic on canvas paintings merge earth tones into even more abstracted forest forms. In three-dimensional works with paper, Beekman creates unique and evocative landscape interpretations.

Beekman first came to America as an artist in residence at the University of Michigan in 1982. When he ventured to the Southwest in 1984 and discovered its “immense space untouched and unspoiled nature, in contrast with the manipulated nature of Europe,” he found himself compelled to resettle in the United States. Jan Beekman has taught and exhibited in both Europe and America and is represented in private and public collections on both continents. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally.

Jan Beekman will give a Gallery Talk about his work at 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 3. The event is free and open to the public. Precarious Balance will be on view during regular gallery hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 11-5pm through May 24th.

Precarious Balance I, 2002, 26″x26″, acrylic on canvas

Precarious Balance II, 2002, 26″x26″, acrylic on canvas

Precarious Balance III, 2002-03, 26″x26″, acrylic on canvas


Hidden II, 1999, 70″x70″, acrylic on canvas


Evening Glow, 2002, 38″x46″, acrylic on canvas


Scintillations I, 2002, 24″x24″, acrylic on canvas


Scintillations II, 2002, 24″x24″, acrylic on canvas


Scintillations III, 2002, 24″x24″, acrylic on canvas


Lonely Drift, 2002/2003, 38″x46″, acrylic on canvas

Breaking Point, 2002, 78″x59″, acrylic on canvas