Beverly McIver paints her life. Her “preparatory sketches” are either family photos she has snapped or costumed self-portraits that she sets up. McIver transforms these photographic images into works of painterly bravura and expressionist force. As Irving Sandler writes in his essay, “McIver’s portraiture bridges specific ‘realism’ and emotional ‘expressionism’. Her brush… penetrates the photograph’s surface, opening the image to new depth and dimension.” In McIver’s work, autobiographical portraiture becomes a means to explore “otherness” and its many manifestations, from family roles to racial identities.
McIver has had numerous solo shows in galleries and museums across the country. Her work was included in the seminal group exhibitions HairStories and Looking Forward, Looking Black. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and Anonymous Was a Woman Grant, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award.
Copyright © 2006 Kent Gallery and Beverly McIver