Jack Beal (American, 1931-2013)

Beal was a major force within Social Realism. He studied at the College of William and Mary before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He started as an Abstract Expressionist, but soon turned to realism in favor of art based on the human experience. Inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch art, Beal was attracted to deeply human and moral forces and dedicated to making beautiful art about “life as we live it.” Beal’s Self Portrait is an expansive and innovative reimagination of himself in the mirror. Every element within this image reinforces Beal’s realism. His masterful use of shadow and line within the print speaks to his talent as an artist.

Beal’s work has been showcased at major museums and galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Virginia Museum of Art, Richmond; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC.