Kate Beck, Anxieties & Alienations, 2010, 89 x 184 inches, poured oil, enamel & powdered graphite on 5 aluminum panels
Kate Beck, Anxieties & Alienations (Detail), 2010, poured oil, enamel & powdered graphite on aluminum
Kate Beck is showing a beautiful group of exquisite works at Pelavin Gallery in Tribeca (through December 11). The exhibition is entirely black and white and gray -- and is spot on in its focus and intensity. Using a combination of powdered graphite, oil paint and enamel, the paintings are made by pouring straight lines from the top of the panels with astonishing precision. The various materials are layered in rhythmic patterns creating striated undulating surfaces that alternate between matte and glossy, deepest black and shimmering grays. Some of the paintings utilize aluminum substrates giving the surfaces a clean hard presence. Also included is a series of lovely and subtle small graphite drawings on aluminum. In all the work there is a stark contrast between how the work reads from a distance, and the infinite nuances that are revealed upon close inspection. There is nothing easy, technically or conceptually, about these works. They are the products of a tenacious process of will -- a deep coalescence of mind and matter that locates feeling in the most direct interactions with the fundamental properties of materials.
Kate Beck, Forgetting Air, 2010, 60 x 60 inches, poured oil, enamel & powdered graphite on linen (image from gallery website)