New YorkBianca Beck & Susan Tepper
Halsey McKay presents a two-person show with Bianca Beck and Susan Tepper. The exhibit brings together new Doubles sculptures by Bianca Beck and thirty of Susan Tepper’s Head Series paintings from 1978 – 1983.
Both artists extrapolate the human form through bombastic hues of color and bold material handling to explore concerns of gender, identity and societal issues of the late 20th and early 21st century. Beck’s biomorphic sculptures place visual and conceptual emphasis on partnership, while Tepper’s layered and collaged heads isolate the individual.
Initially inspired by the visceral swell of political protests, Bianca Beck’s sculptures consider the expansion of the self in relation to collectivity, expression, creativity, and partnership. Beck alludes to a myth from Plato’s Symposium which posits that our original forms were bodies doubled. Each congenitally tied to a partner, bodies were the size and strength of two. Charged with the power of wholeness, these beings were celebratory, acrobatic, and prone to revolt. Susan Tepper’s portraits emphasize duality within the individual – light and dark, feminine and masculine, freedom and suppression. Beautifully grotesque and angst-ridden, they act as self-portraits reflecting the complexity of the human psyche. Throughout her life, Tepper was an advocate for social justice and supportive of progressive causes of the ‘70s and ‘80s, themes which hold particular relevance today and are likewise addressed in Beck’s work.
Bianca Beck (b. 1979, Columbus, OH) earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA and an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. The artist has participated in exhibitions at Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY; Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Rüsselsheim, Germany; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; the FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; White Columns, New York, NY; and Cheim & Read, New York, NY; among others. Beck is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Helen Winternitz Award for Excellence in Painting at Yale University, New Haven, CT; The Ox-Bow School of Art Fellowship Program, Saugatuck, MI; and Artist-in-Residence at Complimenta, Ithaca, NY.
Susan Tepper (1943-1991) was a Neo-expressionist figurative painter, who in addition to her painting practice, fostered a community of artists, poets, playwrights, and writers through the East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art which she founded in 1985. Exhibitions include Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY; Painting Space 122, NY, NY; E.M. Donahue Gallery, NY, NY; Benton Gallery, Southampton, NY; Tripoli Gallery, Southampton, NY and Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY.Courtesy of the artists and Halsey McKay Gallery
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