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Work of the Week | 2 November 2020

CAG.1546 Katherine Boucher Beug, Entering, 1993, acrylic, pastel and pigment on canvas, 36 x 45 cm. Purchased, 1994. © the artist.

Dark in tone and deeply personal, Entering (1993) by Katherine Boucher Beug draws on the artist’s memory and mark-making from childhood.

In the painting, as she reflects, Boucher Beug “used the basic idea of creating a dark background […] and drawing on it with pastel, which could be erased.” Treating the painting’s surface as a ‘black board’ allowed for erasure or retention based on the strength of the drawing. “Then,” the artist continues, “if I liked what I had made, I went over those lines with dry paint or mediums to seal the pastel lines. And then, sparsely, I added some areas of colour to make the drawings richer.”

Boucher Beug’s technique allowed for “a larger, more public format for what was essentially a secret language developed in years and years of both realistic drawing and the keeping of private sketchbooks.” Indeed, the distinctive white and red forms in Entering are obliquely illustrative of lived events and stem from the artist’s interest in feminism, psychology, and therapy.

Fun fact: Entering featured in the artist’s major solo exhibition in our Sculpture Galleries back in 1994.

Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Katherine Boucher Beug (b.1947) has lived in West Cork since 1971. Her work plays with opposites, such as the juxtaposition of skilled, precise drawing with physical mark-making, of theory-based use of colour with found materials, and of exactly calculated compositions with spontaneous brush strokes.

Entering (1993) by Katherine Boucher Beug is featured in lucid abnormalities (Floor 1) until March 2021.

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:


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