“Andrew Beckham is a lot of things, but I would consider him a visual poet, using language both written and visual to construct nuanced work that is compelling, fragile, and poignant.” — Aline Smithson, Lenscratch
Firmament is a benchmark in Andrew Beckham’s ongoing consideration of photography’s intrinsic capacity to depict physical aspects of the landscape and simultaneously suggest the presence of time and mystery. Three bodies of work constitute Firmament, each with Beckham’s recognition of “place” as a starting point for deeper questions. Beckham begins in One Square Mile with a seemingly solitary meander through a backcountry wilderness in the wooded foothills of the Rocky Mountains west of his home. Next, he walks the aggressive openness of the Great Plains in the Sand Hills of Nebraska in Twenty-Thousand Square-Miles and introduces human assertion into Firmament by depicting subtle traces of industry in context with the expanse of prairie grasses and big sky. Finally, in An Incalculable Distance, Beckham interweaves images of historic star charts with his own pictures of various wild landscapes and personal artifacts that, when blended into a seamless composition, represent quietly reflective moments and materials about one’s place in the world.
The exhibition Firmament has been scheduled to coincide with the release of a book of the same name. The book is published by George F. Thompson Publishing and includes an essay by Blake Milteer, FAC Museum Director and Curator of American Art.