Artist DetailsName: Jack Beal
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: 1965
Subject: Abstract, Still Life
Period: 20th Century
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 48 1/2 x 47 7/8 inches
Credit: Gift of Alexander Cassatt
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Beal began his collegiate career at the Norfolk campus of the College of William and Mary, where he majored in biology. Soon, however, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where his early work was in the Abstract Expressionist mode. After moving to New York, he became dissatisfied with this style and soon chose the classic nude as his primary subject matter.
In 1964, Beal began to portray his wife, painter Sondra Freckleton, in his large-scale nudes. Often the scenes would be interiors, littered with overstuffed chairs, shoes, and other articles that had a personal connection with the artist. In The Chair, Beal’s wife is shown seated in a chair facing away from the viewer (it became characteristic of Beal’s work to obscure his wife’s face when painting her nude).