Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard

June 5 – July 19, 2015

Bushwick Open Studios weekend

June 5, 5-9pm     —-     June 6, noon-9pm   —–     June 7, noon-6pm

Exhibition continues through June 28, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-6 pm.

Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard met at the University of Chicago in 2004, and they kept in touch. Their conversations over breakfast or coffee in New York, and the drawings Ben always seemed to be making on yellow legal pads when they got together, prompted Drew to suggest a collaborative project. Right from the start in October 2013, they were making big paintings at a breakneck speed, initiating a full-scale collaboration that is ongoing.

The paintings start with a few elements prepared in advance: a field, a limited number of colors mixed and a simple structural idea (stuff on shelves, elements on a chart, a sandwich, composite figures). They discover the paintings in making them. Most happen very quickly, without any division of labor between the two, working at the same time on the same surface. When the paintings arrive at a fully firing circuit of visual connections, one that seems likely to endure by continuously resolving and reopening internal conflict, Beattie and Shepard stop, and hope for unforced meanings to come into view. Sometimes they disagree about when a painting is finished, but not these.

DBBS is the first show highlighting collaborative work by Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard.

About the Artists:

A collaborative spirit has woven in and out of Drew Beattie’s work throughout his career. His paintings, drawings and sculpture look for meaning through hybridized fusions of imagery and abstraction. His most recent solo shows, Betty re Testers, stair Z and My Cookie, were at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden from 2012 to 2014. He has participated in group shows at several New York galleries including Eli Ping, Martos, Edward Thorp, Envoy, Feigen Contemporary and Roebling Hall, as well as Galerie Zurcher in Paris and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard in Cambridge. Beattie’s collaborative work with Daniel Davidson was shown in the exhibitions  Painting Now in 2004 and Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s in 2001 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Beattie & Davidson had solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum in 1994 and White Columns in 1995, and their work was also included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. They were the subject of multiple solo shows at Stephen Wirtz Gallery and Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco, and Joseph Helman Gallery in New York, and were included in group shows at The Drawing Center, Exit Art, Franklin Furnace and PS 1. Beattie & Davidson were the recipients of the Rome Prize in Visual Arts from the American Academy in Rome in 1994.


Ben Shepard is the cofounder of Top Studios (top.coop), a worker-owned company that makes multilingual edutainment for New Adults, and the initiator of the Home School Movement, a project to convert 100 residences into free schools. Ben is also the author of a very long essay “Why Kanye West Should Be Mayor of Chicago” (whykanye.org) and Lulz, a forthcoming graphic novel about cats, the internet and the end of humanity.

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