Jack Beal’s relationship to Realism is rooted in his commitment to working from life.
On a trip to upstate New York in summer 1962, Jack Beal was on the verge of giving up painting, disenchanted with abstract expressionism. Instead, he “gave Art one more try" and in working from nature, "fell in love with painting all over again.”
Beal would become a leading proponent of New Realism, garnering significant success for his figurative paintings. He and his wife Sondra Freckelton purchased a defunct mill in upstate New York in 1974, eventually moving there permanently. In nature, Beal found ample inspiration and used his surroundings to inform his later allegorical work. Most of his pastoral scenes are based on the rural landscape while his still lives almost always feature the vegetables and flowers he and Sondra grew on the property.
In the Allan Frumkin Gallery winter 1979 newsletter, Beal explains “…Contemporary Realists concern themselves with looking at the world in a way that people have always done and will always do, and they attempt to make art from that vision, using all the tools and resources available, an Art as complex and as interesting as their own lives.”