The Acquisitions Committee recently accepted the work by Ford Beckman (1952 - 2014)
Title: Mon Jardinet (The Small Garden of One's Heart) The Presence of Mercy
Year: 2000 Medium, mixed media on board, size: 48” x 48”
Generously donated to the Jesuit Dallas Museum by Tom Kosanda.
Ford Beckman was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1952, died in Tulsa, OK in 2014, and known for abstraction non-objective painting, and modernist sculpture. Ford Beckman was also a successful fashion designer-turned-artist whose paintings are in museums and private collections around the world. Beckman’s works can be found in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Saatchi Collection in London; the Essl Collection in Vienna; and the Panza Collection in Italy.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Beckman came to Tulsa in the early 1970s on a golf scholarship to Oral Roberts University. Although he majored in art at ORU, he would make his first splash in the fashion world. It started in 1972, when Beckman opened a specialty-clothing store. In 1980, Beckman relocated to New York City and became well known as a fashion designer. He even established his own label, specializing in men’s and women’s sportswear, textiles and home design.
However, in the early 1990s he came back to his first love. Beginning to concentrate solely on painting “was the best thing I ever did,” Beckman said.
From his first New York exhibitions at the Craig Cornelius Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, which were well-received both critically and commercially, Beckman went on to make fans of individual collectors and major institutions worldwide. Among his most celebrated works were several series of paintings, including the abstract “Black Wall Paintings,” “Salvation Paintings” and “Rhythm Paintings,” as well as a pop art series featuring images of clowns.
Ford Beckman stated, “All paintings are self-portraits.” “That’s all really good painters do . . . that’s the part of painting that you can’t teach.” After a successful career as a fashion designer, Beckman emerged as a post-neo-expressionist artist in New York City alongside artists like Ashley Bickerton and Ross Bleckner. His style-blended slick, silkscreened pop iconography—including clowns and logo-like symbols such as targets that recall the work of Jasper Johns—with splashes, drips, and elements of geometric and gestural abstraction. But for Beckman, who would later trade the art scene for a quiet life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, art was more than an aesthetic exercise—he compared the practice of painting to prayer.