Mixed Greens is thrilled to announce Under Development, Kim Beck’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Using drawing, sculpture, and site-specific installation, Beck explores the relationship between desire, stability, and economic security.
In the front gallery, large-scale drawings allude to architectural renderings. They use obsessive marks, lines, and cutouts to form piles of lumber, ladders, windows, and structural beams. The scale of each piece invites viewers to imagine themselves entering a construction site, but the impracticality of the construction is quickly apparent. It is at once exterior and interior—a space made impossible by infinite additions and subtractions. Beck's simultaneous building and destroying of the images suggests an optimism underlying destruction, and the idea of ever-present possibilities.
Adding a larger context to these austere architectural drawings are Beck's quirky flocked sculptures and lush charcoal drawings highlighting the thin line separating architecture and natural forms. Altered sawhorses and ladders, roadside remnants, cell towers, blank billboards, and outlines of trees form a fractured landscape. Beck uses these images of utilitarian objects to build an alien-but-familiar tree line existing in a continuous state of flux; growing and collapsing, caught forever in a state of becoming.
In the back gallery, the viewer encounters a selection of Beck's light boxes from her skywriting project, “The Sky Is the Limit.” These backlit prints capture a series of messages taken from advertising―Space Available, All Sales Final, Everything Must Go―as they were drawn in the sky over Pittsburgh. The phrases, both exciting and portentous, indicate fantastic sales and business closings. The available space advertised is, of course, the most potent symbol of longing in the landscape: the sky. When loosed from paper signs and billboards, the texts evoke open-ended poetic phrases that, as evanescent marks in the sky, gradually fade back into air.
Kim Beck grew up in Colorado and currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. After receiving her BA from Brandeis University and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, she has exhibited widely at venues including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, NY. A recent fellow at Yaddo, she has participated in other residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, the International Studio & Curatorial Program, Cité Internationale des Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and VCCA. She has received awards from ARS Electronica, Pollock-Krasner, Thomas J. Watson and Heinz Foundations and her artist's book, A Field Guide to Weeds, published through the Printed Matter Emerging Artist Publishing Program, is in its second edition. She recently debuted a project for the High Line in New York City and a skywriting project in Pittsburgh. She will expand the skywriting project to New York City in early October of 2011.