John Beadle’s “Splinters and Shards”

TERN Gallery recently announced “Splinters and Shards,” a solo exhibition of new sculptures by Nassau-based artist and sculptor John Beadle. The exhibition runs from December 11, 2021 to January 22, 2022, with an artist reception on Saturday, December 11 from 4:00 to 7:00pm. “Splinters and Shards” marks Beadle’s first exhibition with TERN.

In this new body of work, Beadle combines natural and manufactured materials to create pieces that reference and warp their original forms. Beadle, who trained as a painter and printmaker, applies a similar attitude toward materiality in these sculptures. These new works are examples of Beadle’s ability to merge painting, sculpture and installation, creating a rich sense of line, dimension and texture.

Beadle’s carbonized mahogany carvings fuse a variety of natural wood textures into single compositions. In his circular wall sculptures, round indentations, thinly etched lines and curving hollows mimic the various textures found naturally in wood, allowing these different patterns to blend into one another. These natural patterns are echoed in the grain of the wood itself, which remains a prominent feature of these pieces despite the carbonization of the wood. The artist contrasts his circular carvings with two freestanding, upright wooden sculptures. The natural shape of the tree is referenced in these rectangular pieces, continuing the motifs of naturalistic linework and engravings. Beadle sees all of his wood carvings as a kind of drawing—except that instead of adding onto the existing material, these carvings require him to subtract from it, as one would do to a wood block for printmaking.

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[Shown above: John Beadle’s “Ambers and Embers,” 2021, Mahogany and metal, 52.25 x 10 inches. Courtesy of the artist and TERN Gallery.]

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