The “moderns” turned him down

Although carrying out numerous experiments, Dick Beer is perceived as a traditional painter. He never was a front-runner creating things that nobody else had experienced before. He was a man of his time, not before it. Unfortunately, creativity has for many become synonymous of avant-garde. This may explain why the big 1973 exhibition in Stockholm was a non-event. Such misunderstanding has been endured even by the greatest. Let’s recall in which manner one of the greatest XXth Century painters, Pierre Bonnard, was treated at his death in 1947. Cahiers d’ Art, then the most influent European art magazine, asked in an editorial headline: “Pierre Bonnard est-il un grand peintre ?” And Pablo Picasso, his genius notwithstanding, could be very mean and unfair mentioning his less “modern” colleague : “Ne me parlez pas de Bonnard. Ce n’ est pas de la peinture ce qu’il fait. Il ne va jamais au-delà de sa propre sensibilité ». Much later, in the sixties and in connection with the large London exhibition, the hype art public and artistic trendsetters discovered that Pierre Bonnard had never been as creative as in his last years, living secluded in his Mediterranean villa Le Bosquet. The French master, who has marked the art scene with significant works since 1890, painted then series of canvases representing his wife Marthe taking a bath, very complex and almost obsession-like compositions. There is a little of Bonnard in Dick Beer, not only through the never-ending exploration of the figurative approach, but also in this tortured self-investigation, going ahead of what could be immediately captured with the brush and the eye, in men, nature and objects.