John Beal - Lobster
American, b.1931
Lobster, 1975
Lithograph, 19.75 x 25 inches
Edition 36/90
Brooke Alexander

Gift of Judy and J. D. Williamson, II (BBA '67, MBA '68)

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Beal is best known for his paintings, murals and fine draftsmanship. Jack Beal is associated with a group of American neo-realist artists who gained recognition in the later 1960s. Although continuing a tradition of American realism, they also espoused the formal concerns of their contemporary abstract and Pop artists: bold color, clear-cut design elements, and everyday subject matter. Particularly noteworthy are his compositions of the figure in interior environments filled with complex patterned fabrics, diagonal thrust and a point of view slightly below eye level.

In this lithograph, Beal adopts an unusual high-angle view on his assembled objects - the better to put into relief the competing shapes of lobster, Imari plate, candlestick, enameled metal lid, and rumpled napkins. Suggesting the paraphernalia of a lobster dinner from stove to table, Beal takes evident delight in playful shapes and colors.