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Fred Becker

Composition 1950

image: 16 1/2 x 21 7/8'' sheet: 19 x 25 1/4"


By 1950, Surrealism had become absorbed into Contemporary art discourse and Abstract Expressionism was on the rise. Fred Becker had recently begun a 20-year stint at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he established an impressive printmaking department. His prints and drawings from this time are bold and energetic, and with titles such as "Jam Session II" and "Auricular Unrest," the relationship of his studio practice to performance and musicianship (dating back to the the 1930s), is clear. In this terrific and dynamic drawing, "Composition, 1950," Becker practically places the viewer on stage with the band. One feels the instruments and the sounds they make have swapped places.