The McMaster Museum of Art

    BECHGAARD, Nicholas
    Date: Canadian, born Yemen, 1948
    Born 1948 in Aden Protectorate, I was brought up in Kenya and studied Fine Art at Hornsey College of Art then spent another four years working in London as a painter and photographer.

    At 28 I travelled to Egypt and Japan before settling in rural Ontario, Canada. Here I continued to work with painting and photography adding stained glass to my activities. I exhibited in Belleville, Peterborough, and Toronto and completed many secular and religious stained glass commisions.
    On returning to England in 86 stained glass took priority for a while with many commisions, collaborative projects and a group show in Chartres, France.

    Since 2002 I have concentrated entirely on my photo based painting, with a solo show at the Union Street Gallery in 2005 and a group show, ‘Confluence of Artists’, in 2006, both in Stroud, England.

    “The human presence, particularly the feminine, is the main subject of Bechgaard’s work. Using material that is both contemporary and from his past he distils the essential elements to bring an emotional and aesthetic focus to the final work. He bears witness to a significant moment of body language or interaction of individuals and groups that is rooted in the still record of his own photography.

    For many years the final medium has been oil painting. More recently Bechgaard has been exploring the use of acrylic paint on black and white photocopies. This combines the truth of the photographic moment with a more subjective interptretation of colour and detail. This is nothing new. Optics has informed painting for centuries, as painting has influenced photography. Bechgaard is inspired to find the personal and poetic in the gradual evolution of figurative Art.”

    Nicholas Bechgaard