The Church in Taormina, Sicily (Kyrkan i Taormina)
oil on canvas canvas dimensions 54 x 47 cm signed and dated Dick Beer 1914 painted 1914
Exhibited: Varias Konstsalong, Stockholm, 1916; Millesgården – Dick Beer – Impressionist & Kubist, 2012
Provenance: Within the family Beer until today
Dick Beer (1893-1938)
Dick Beer was born in London in 1893. His father, John Beer (1853-1906), was a Swedish painter from Stockholm who had a career mainly as a watercolour painter with motifs of horses from racetracks and fox hunts from the countryside.
Barely fifteen years old, Dick Beer became an orphan and came to Sweden in 1907. Already in 1908-1909, he started at Althin's painting school in Stockholm. And later, at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1910-1912. His teachers were, among others, Gustaf Cederström, Oscar Björk and Alfred Bergström.
At this time, Many artists went to Paris, and Dick Beer wasn't an exception; he rented a studio and took every spare time to visit academies such as Colarossi and Grande Chaumière and André Lhote.
Dick Beer travels to Pont Aven in Brittany over the summer of 1913. In September, he went directly to Stockholm for his first solo exhibition with the French title Exposition des tableaux de Bretagne et autour de Paris; The exhibition was a big success with many visitors.
1914-1917: First World War:
In the spring of 1914, Dick Beer undertook a longer study trip to Italy, Tunisia, Morocco and Spain.
When the French army mobilized, Dick Beer volunteered and was accepted into the French Foreign Legion. He was severely injured at Souain in September 1915, and the war injuries left him with severe deafness and nerve problems, which became increasingly noticeable over the years. During and after the war, he painted in a post-impressionistic style with a light palette, increasingly tuned in blue and green.
Dick Beer and Ruth Öhrling married in February, and in December, their only child, John, was born. During these years, Beer had a studio at Rådmansgatan in Stockholm. During this time, he paints several large Cubist compositions such as "In the Paddock" and "Arab Café".
He participated in the Februarigruppen exhibition at Liljevalch's in 1919. His palette turned into a darker colour scheme dominated by green, blue, and red.
Amedeo Modigliani made a portrait of him in Paris in 1919.
Throughout his short life, Beer spent most of his time in France and exhibited almost annually in Paris.
The Scandinavian motifs were mostly landscapes around Lake Mälaren and from the Stockholm archipelago, cityscapes, many nude studies and some portraits.
Dick Beer practised many styles during his 30 years as an artist, from post-impressionism, cubism, late cubism, expressionism and naturalism.
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