Born :: 1956, Maine, United States
Education :: Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine: Painting and Art History, 1996-1997; Goddard College, Plainfield, VT: ADP Creative Writing, 1978-1979; Bennington College, Bennington, VT: Sculpture & Creative Writing, 1978; University of Maine, Orono, Maine: Liberal Arts 1975-1977
Residence :: Coast of Maine
Pushing the boundaries between formal methodologies and pure intuition, Kate Beck embues large scale, abstract surfaces with emotive physicality through placement, and displacement, of color and form. Layered fields of oil paint, transitioning into planes of color and light, are released with powerful, spontaneous surface brushstrokes. The simultaneous building-up and destruction of surface and subterranean detail manifest as what she relates as paradox within the surface, alluding to oppositional concepts such as presence/abscence; literalism/romanticism; appearance/withdrawal, binding the core of the painting.
"As a painter, I am very influenced by nature, particularly from my vantage point on the rugged Maine coast, a place I have grown up loving and respecting, and a fundamental resource for inspiration. As an abstractionist, however, I strive to break from staid, traditional response and allow my materials and the lure and freedom of the untouched surface to lead me in. I've always considered my practice an act of consciously giving and taking, a pace I have absorbed from the rigorous and unpredictable environment on the coast of Maine. Abstraction takes many forms. On some level, I know I am and will always be a landscape painter."
In his 2011 catalogue essay, Kate Beck, the Potential of Line, Piet Augustijn, Curator Emeritus of Contemporary Art at the Gorcums Museum in Gorinchem, The Netherlands, likened her works to "… poetic impressions of colored perceptions, interpretations of a personal experience of nature created from within and resulting in oases of inner calm and contemplation, but also of mystery, reminiscent of the pigment sculptures by Anish Kapoor, subtle poetic works with strength, fragility and infinite depth of color... ".
Kate has exhibited and lectured within the United States and Europe, including: Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, Maine; New Mexico Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico; University of Western Bohemia, Czech Republic; Gorcums Museum, Gorinchem, Nederlands; PIT Project Space, Tilburg, Nederlands; ParisCONCRET Projects, Paris, France; Brito.Rodriguez Arquitectura, Lisboa, Portugal; Stiftung Konzeptuelle Kunst, Soest, Germany; and BAU Institute, Otranto, Italy. Her works are in public and private collections in Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; Taos, New Mexico; Paris, France; Lisboa, Portugal and Milan, Italy.