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Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words

Edmond Brooks-Beckman

Installation View of ‘Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words’ at Duarte Sequeira

Duarte Sequeira is pleased to announce the first solo presentation of British artist Edmond Brooks-Beckman in Seoul. The exhibition introduces a new series of palimpsests paintings, revealing the artist’s application, carving, and cutting technique while capturing the delicate balance between creation and erasure. Through layers of thick oil paint and symbolism woven into his evolving visual language, Brooks-Beckman explores family history, personal experiences, and contemporary consciousness.

Installation View of ‘Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words’ at Duarte Sequeira

Edmond Brooks-Beckman was born in 1987 in London, where he lives and works. He holds an MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art (2021-2023). His graduation show work ‘Inscriptions beneath the skin, 2023’ won the coveted Valerie Beston Prize. He has a BFA from Brighton University (2006-2009). Brooks-Beckman has integrated his studio and lecturing practice. After completing a PGCE at the IOE in 2016, the artist worked within secondary education as an Art and Design teacher he progressed on to foundation course leader at the Hampstead School of Art in 2023.

Installation View of ‘Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words’ at Duarte Sequeira

Amongst all the noise there is one constant question: “what do I have to do to get to the end of a painting? To a point where no part of me calls (me) to keep going, until all is quiet.”

This show is not hinged on a theme or bound to a message. It is a collection of evidence of my own efforts in carving out a language spoken from my own gut. I come to painting as a fan of the work of others, as a collector of artists’ marks; however, I never felt that I could speak directly through their tongues or mark make through their touch. This body of work attempts to form my own spoken gestures.

For a series of paintings like this to emerge, there needs to be a series of other questions that have enough “juice” in them to keep me going. One of these has been what might a painting look like if I find ways to spend longer with it? I mean in actual contact with it, not spending time looking at it from a distance or, conceiving ideas and executing those after careful deliberation in my mind’s eye. I mean acting on it, in the moment, responding gutterly with the materials in order for the relationship between the painting and my bodily experience to become so intermingled it starts to enmesh. This series gave a platform for my body to talk.

Installation View of ‘Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words’ at Duarte Sequeira

Although the work in this exhibition relies on instinctive mark-making, it was not done with my eyes closed and complete abandonment. I built a set of symbols that allowed for the right conditions in which my body could respond intuitively to the materials. One of these conditions emerged from a significant change in my perception of the ground. Grounds became viewed as objects, specifically the Jewish scroll and prayer box called Tefillin. My relationship to mark-making within this new context has taken on the nature of writing on surfaces like parchment, or carving into a tablet. Words and numbers wed material to subject matter.

The mark is a piece of information. I have seen so many that I can’t be at ease with them when I use them. This exhibition has been a way of dealing with this uncomfortable truth. In this body of work marks cannot exist as gestures that the brush intended. I have to revise them, edit, cut into, cut through and around. It has reached a point where I am now considering how to change the beginnings and endings of marks, no longer satisfied with raw gestures. Carving into these points using the shapes of the Hebrew alphabet as a guiding aesthetic to resolve them.

Installation View of ‘Edmond Brooks-Beckman: Into the clamour of words’ at Duarte Sequeira

The inventiveness that I bring to my mark making feels like avoidance, a negation of other people’s marks. When I think about the Jewish painters that have left their mark on me, they are all forged from this desire to find their distinct voice. Lee Krasner, Frank Auerbauch, Soutine, Golub, R.B Kitaj. Maybe there is an attitude here: a behavior towards culture, a will to carve out a personal identity. I believe it’s also about a relationship to power, not feeling like I can fit into other genres or canons of art so directly in lineage because I don’t fully belong there. Subjectivity as a negotiation with existing power structures.

I hope this exhibition signifies convincing ways to resolve the problems of dealing with all the other voices struggling to be heard in my head and in my work. I hope my work speaks to you as I speak with it.

Written by Edmond Brooks Beckman

Duarte Sequeira
2F, 27, Dosan-daero 54-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
+82 2 6953 0553