“All that is solid melts into air,” in the ephemeral world of Edward Bekkerman’s “Dream” and “Spirit” paintings, abstract-looking images that are in fact as richly and minutely detailed as an illuminated manuscript penned by a Medieval monk. Rather than the common interpretation of this phrase made famous by Marx—which continues, “all that is holy is profaned” —Bekkerman’s work expresses precisely the opposite, discovering the mystical in the otherwise ordinary, transmogrifying superficial reality into a spirit world.
— Phoebe Hoban is a New York-based writer who covers
art and culture for a variety of publications.
Her biography of the artist Alice Neel, Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty,
was published by St. Martin’s Press in December, 2010.
Her biography of Lucian Freud, Lucian Freud: Eyes Wide Open,
was published by Amazon and Houghton Mifflin (New Harvest) in 2014
The paintings of Edward Bekkerman maintain an interiority whose vertical forms, are at once abstract and strangely human. Bekkerman offers his audience these presences as a means of communicating with an ethereal world in which the shapes of angels and people seem to have been merged into a single gestalt.
— Jonathan Goodman
Art critic, professor at Prague University,
professor at Parsons The New School For Design
As a creative personality, Edward Bekkerman has developed along the lines of classical modernism. He creates and inhabits his own world. He does not regard matters of self-expression as an excuse for irony. He does not ask the public to play along with him or solve intellectual crosswords; what he demands is fully-fledged emotional contact. Even in his behavior, he adheres to the mythology of modernism (which the classics of modernism have themselves already broken, appearing in the role of newsmakers). He is a solitary artist, an individualist far removed from the professional environment and little concerned about public relations or his relationship with the establishment. While such a stance might be regarded as archaic, experience shows that it always incorporates great potential topicality. In Bekkerman’s case, it is wholly natural. His art is foreordained to be understood.
— Alexander D. Borovsky
Head of the Department of Contemporary Art
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg