Elizabeth Dee presents Lisa Beck’s new paintings. This series examines the relationship between the observable aspects of reality, like landscape or the body, and the aspects that are too vast or too tiny to see, or grasp completely, like space or atomic physics, that necessarily become abstractions.
These paintings are the means to visualize the place where these different aspects meet or interact, and that place is a shifting point, as our understanding of the world is constantly challenged and changed by new knowledge.
Rising and Falling introduces a set of experiments, a body of work made of a very condensed set of elements: circles, areas of color, lines – all of which have resonances and references which belie their simplicity. The most prevalent motif is the circle in all its forms and references: spheres, voids, cells, selves, stars, atoms, specificity, endlessness. A point can be an anchor, a hole, or a world. Color is dark, light, solid, transparent, emotional, material. An edge is a boundary between two or more entities – hard, blurred, transparent. A line is a path, a divider, a cut, a floor, a ceiling, a sky, a ground.
The paint, applied in varied ways, is brushed, stained, printed, smeared, and appreciated most when it does something unexpected. The use of metal leaf (aluminum, copper, brass) is fully evident, shining, allowing the ground to come forward and have equivalent focus with the paint. These leafed areas look different in different light, and shift as the viewer moves.
Of the work Beck says, I am attracted to related visual phenomena like positive and negative, pattern and randomness, color and grayscale, flatness and depth, representation and abstraction. I always want to go in different directions at the same time and much of my work has involved trying to find ways to integrate these so-called opposites.
Lisa Beck (American b. 1958) has exhibited worldwide, including seven solo exhibitions at Feature, New York since 1992. Curator Bob Nickas has included Beck in eight shows at various venues, including: Anton Kern Gallery, White Columns, and Martos Galleryk, as well as Rapperswill, Switzerland. Beck recently was the subject of a new publication catalogue from her survey exhibiton at Circuit, Lausanne highlighting her work between 1986-2015. Upcoming exhibitions in 2018 include Doomtown, at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; and a solo show at the Suburban, Minneapolis.
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