Beverly McIver, American (1962 - )

Beverly McIver was born in 1962 and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. She received her BA in Painting and Drawing at North Carolina Central University and her MFA at Pennsylvania State University. She is currently professor of art at Arizona State University at Tempe. McIver is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Fellowship, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and articles on her work have been published in Art in America and Art News. Her paintings are in corporate and museum collections around the country including the permanent collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

“McIver has assimilated the history of modern portraiture, notably the line that leads from van Gogh through Soutine to de Kooning; but like contemporary expressionists, she recognizes that it is no longer possible to paint purely instinctively. A new kind of consciousness is needed to continue the tradition of expressionism, a consciousness that requires erudition, sophistication, and deliberation if an artist is to achieve intensity. McIver has recent models, notably Robert Colescott, Elizabeth Murray, and Susan Rothenberg, and in her own right, she has the vision, passion, conviction, and painterly skills to achieve the expressiveness she desires. In sum, McIver has made the expressionist tradition her own by funneling it through her life with urgency, painting autobiographical images in an authentic and distinctive style that are at once psychological and social. …

“McIver has extended African-American subject matter by focusing on autobiographical portraiture. In creating these pictures, she has merged personal confession and social commentary, photography and painting, and realism and expressionism. Her work encompasses multilevel and ambiguous layers of meaning. Most importantly, she achieves these complex meanings,not through illustration but through the felt – and masterly – process of painting.”

Irving Sandler, “Beverly McIver and Photo-Expressionism”, Beverly McIver: Invisible Me, Kent Gallery, New York, 2006

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