The Exhibition:

An exhibition of abstract artwork by American/British artists Tina Mammoser and Rodney Beecher

14-19 January 2013
Gallery 27
Cork Street, London, W1S 3NG
Click to view location map
Open 10-6 daily, late 'til 8pm Thurs/Fri

29 January 2013

What's next?

The artwork keeps getting out in the world! Tina's paintings are already moving around London. A few have gone on loan through ArtBridge for an interior design project, two dark paintings are going to her agents at ProjectArt, and a nice selection of Coast paintings and Cave paintings will be in the Blackheath Gallery Spring Exhibition of their gallery artists.

Blackheath Gallery
Spring Exhibition
9 March - 20 April 2013

Group show of gallery represented artists
34a Tranquil Vale
Blackheath, London SE3 0AX
Tel/Fax: 0208 852 1802

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24 January 2013

Epiphanies on abstraction - a discussion


“A big influence for me was looking at the La Brea tar pits when living in LA. It’s just there. It’s such a contrast to everything. And how old is a tar pit? Millions and millions of years old.  And everything that has happened throughout history as far as man’s development and animal development is in there under that surface. I mean, it’s tremendous stories under there. And you can get off the bench and go to the museum and see what we’ve excavated out there. Who knew, you know?”


“But then you said to me that you’re getting away from stories because art used to have stories but we don’t need the stories.”

 “We don’t need the stories. Specific stories. That’s way it’s like every time I looked at de Kooning’s work in a show, even though the title implies a certain scenario, because it’s a door to the room, and there’s obviously a rectangle on this side or that and okay that’s the door. So it’s a starting point for a specific kind of story or specific kind of scenario that’s happening. And at that point in my life I didn’t study sin a lot... I meditated and did zen meditation and I actually think I reached nirvana a number of times, but then one of my other epiphanies of life turned out to be about that.. why would one want to achieve nothingness? You’re going to have that for an eternity some day.

“So embrace this, not escape this. And that for me was another kind of “here’s the surface, what’s you’re doing, and here’s the truth and the reality of the universe is below that situation.”


“I think you started when you were painting early on you were doing actual things, and I was too. And I think we both moved toward abstraction because we both kind of realised well, do we need more of this really? That was my thought anyway.”


“It’s all been done as well as it can be done.”


“And I love figurative work. I just don’t want to make more of it.”


“And I can’t unfortunately do it as well! I look at Picasso when he was 14, 17... and even he moved away from it. Why do that anymore?
“It wasn’t until the summer of ‘60 when I was looking at the tar pits that I really started to appreciate the abstract forms. And that year I had the opportunity to work with, to study under Hans Hoffman in New York. This was a guy who was mid-30s and he was obviously a total abstract painter. And I changed where I was coming from after that. I’m just now to the point where... he didn’t use brushes, he only painted with his hands. I paint the majority by hands or spatulas or something other than brushes. That was a good year for me. He encouraged me to continue and paint things that I saw.  And I did for years.”


 “My teacher was supportive, but I don’t think she had any idea I’d go abstract. Though honestly I don’t actually like to call my work abstract. I say non-objective. Because mine is still “something”, moreso than yours. Mine are really specifically based on actual places. But other people see them as abstract.”


“Well in some sense you have an actual form in that landscape. [Rodney owns “Golden, Chesil Beach”] Specific physicality going on there. But that’s not what I’m seeing. I’m seeing the mood, the power. I’m seeing everything that the ocean is other than its physicality.”


 “Really on the surface our paintings could both be some sort of expression, an abstraction. Mine’s only objective in the sense that I make it that. It’s only for me that it’s really specific to the landscape. That’s something that over the years I’ve tried to let go of, knowing that while it’s particular to me it isn’t to anybody else and it doesn’t need to be. Once I’m finished painting it it can be whatever it wants to be.”


“That’s exactly my feeling on all of my paintings. i don’t care what I was thinking or feeling, it has nothing to do with me anymore. It’s totally with the viewer. I mean, they haven’t had my life, my experiences, my education, my anything. They have totally different education of life. So obviously they’re going to see other things.”


“It’s really cliche but I’ve always had in my statement writing that I paint it and then it’s whatever the viewer wants to see. And that sorts so sort of twee art world talk, but it’s true.”

“It’s so true. I literally went and saw that de Kooning dozens of times and every time I stood in front of it I had a different reaction. I always look first without seeing the title.”

“I do the same thing. The first time I saw the Barnett Newman exhibition, and at this point I was painting sort of impressionist riverscapes of London, my friend Shelagh said go see the Barnett Newman you’ll love it. And of course I didn’t get abstract stuff, and I was like ugh no, it’s ridiculous lines on the canvas.

“And the exhibition blew me away. I was overwhelmed with how much I could feel from these paintings with so little form. That was my moment when I realised paintings don’t need to be specific - or that things can be expressed with less. It took me years to figure out how to even start doing that, but it was that turning point. My reaction to Newman was stronger to even paintings from Turner.”
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18 January 2013

Differences between American and British artists

What differences strike you most between contemporary artists now in American and in Britain?

“I find that the modern British artists I look at most are those using colour combinations not found in nature in the UK... Barbara Rae, Gillian Ayres, Albert Irvin and John Hoyland. But of course he was influenced by the New York Abstractionists. The main difference I see between the US and the UK artists is choice of colour palette.”
Details from "Thames Haven" (left) by Tina Mammoser
and "I am nature" (right) by Rodney Beecher Roberts

“Landscape! Just landscape as a subject matter even in urban contemporary painters’ work. I can find seascapes at all levels in all styles, at galleries and fairs. I’m always amazed at shows in the US that I rarely see landscapes, but lots of depictions of people and political work.”

17 January 2013

Disconnections from the British art world

What trait of British artists or aspects of British art do you feel disconnected from, not having started as an artist here?

“I am totally disconnected from Britain’s long standing history and reverence for water colour. I can’t get past observing the techniques involved. And for me art is a singular solitary endeavour, so I don’t see the importance of an artist attaching letters to their name through art societies.”

“I feel disconnected from the long history of community many artists seem to have. Art in the family, maybe connection with a home town, plus a long cultural history. In a way it’s an almost hereditary grounding they have in their view towards being an artist. My background is one of constant movement so sometimes I envy that element of psychological stability.”

16 January 2013

Moving to Britain and art

Detail from "Resound"
Acrylic painting on canvas by Tina Mammoser
How has moving to Britain changed or influenced your work?

“What has changed most is the light. Even though I paint in a studio under artificial light it is still darker and greyer which affects my choice of colour and mood.”

“I started working here so am not sure I can answer this regarding painting. I used to draw a lot since high school so I suppose any change in creativity has been a slow movement away from exactitude. Not entirely away from realism but relaxing the need for perfection and capturing ideas and impressions instead.”

15 January 2013

American influences on art

Detail from "The 5th Dimension"
Mixed media painting by Rodney Beecher Roberts
How did growing up in American culture most influence your artwork now?

“I think growing up in the states, especially California, left me with the typical American attitude of wanting everything the way I want it, not ‘how it comes’. For me, my expectations are what counts not the status quo or what others may think is proper, which I think shows in my art work.”

“I was raised with a very achievement-oriented attitude to life, something that has ebbed since moving to the UK. But it is still there and I think it drives my artwork. I have a need to push more, find something different, for the work to have meaning and my technique to be challenging.  Even within the creative process I do naturally build myself structures.”

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13 January 2013

From chaos...

Rodney's work was delivered Saturday night, mine on Sunday morning. From 8am we begin... it only took an hour or so to rule out the "pair up" idea of hanging, then the "alternating sections of wall" idea. Our work looks nice together, just not too together!

Rodney ponders his hundreds of paintings... (not quite, but seemed like it!)

I re-ponder framed pieces that I can't arrange as I wanted because the hanging system doesn't hang low enough.

And somehow, after the chaos, some structure begins to emerge...

Show opens TOMORROW! Only 6 days - Don't miss it!