Basil Beattie employs pictograms, gesture, and spatial motifs to explore the endless possibilities of abstract pictorial space. Approaching his works as vehicles through which to convey numerous symbolic associations, Beattie works intuitively, with loose, gutsy brushwork, lending the work a haptic and theatrical dimension. Depicting ladders, steps, stairways, bridges, corridors, tunnels, ziggurats and cells, a tension is invoked between inner states and outer environments. Working in this way, Beattie seeks to push beyond the physical language of the work into the realm of metaphor and idea.
Basil Beattie is one of Britain’s most respected abstract artists, with an illustrious career spanning over 60 years. He studied at West Hartlepool College of Art (1950-55) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London (1957-61). His extensive teaching career at Goldsmiths College, London, in the 1980s and 1990s exerted a significant influence on successive generations of artists, including the Young British Artists (‘YBAs’) who came to prominence in the 1990s. Beattie’s works are included in numerous public and private collections such as the Tate Gallery London, Saatchi Collection, United Kingdom Government Art Collection, Arts Council Collection, Contemporary Art Society, Deutsche Bank, London, Birmingham City Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery, and The Royal Academy of Arts, London.