Lisa Beck works with a variety of mediums and modes, including painting, sculpture and installation (often in combination), involving inner and outer space, landscape, reflection, and the paradoxical relationship of something and nothing.
Her work has been exhibited in the US and internationally since the 1980s, in venues including Feature Inc. (NYC), Elizabeth Dee Gallery (NYC), Anton Kern Gallery (NYC),  Circuit, (Lausanne), PS1 (Long Island City),  Galerie Samy Abraham (Paris), De Pury & Luxemburg (Zurich),  White Columns, (NYC),  MAMCO – Museé d’ Art moderne et contemporain (Geneva), and the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT).
In 2013, Endless,  a survey show of works from 1986-2012, was presented at the Fort du Brussin, a hors les murs exhibition by La Salle de Bains, in Lyon, France.
Lisa Beck’s work has been included in publications including Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting by Bob Nickas,(2009, Phaidon Press) and Are You Experienced?  by Ken Johnson (2011, Prestel).  In 2015, The Middle of Everywhere, a monograph on her work, was published by Galerie Samy Abraham (Paris)  and La Salle de Bains (Lyon). 

«My work has always been driven by certain preoccupations and obsessions, that can be seen as divided between the particular and the universal. The particular is shorthand for the observable aspects of reality, the stuff around us (the landscape, our bodies). The universal is a shorthand for things that are too vast or too tiny for us to grasp completely ( space, atomic physics)- that necessarily become a kind of abstraction. Those are the things that I think about, with an emphasis on the relationship between those things - the place where they meet or interact, rather than the divide. I'm concerned with where I stand, or where anyone stands, in relation to these aspects of existing reality - the act of observation of the place in between; visual awareness and perception as a way of understanding existence, like a filter.

I tend to be attracted to opposing but related visual phenomena like positive and negative, pattern and randomness, color and grayscale, flatness and depth, representational and abstract imagery. I always want to go in both directions at once and much of my work has involved trying to find ways to integrate these opposites. My most prevalent motif has been the circle in all its forms and references. Atoms, dots, spheres, solids, voids, cells, selves, stars, eternity, emptiness- it's amazing how much can attach to this form.»

Born in New York City in 1958
Lives in Brooklyn, New York


EDUCATION
1980
 Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, BFA 1980


SOLO SHOWS (SELECTION)
2018
Lisa Beck, May 68, New York

2017
Rising and Falling, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York
Project Space, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris

2016
The House of Eternity, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris

2015
The Middle of Everywhere, curated by Caroline Soyez-Petithomme, Circuit, Lausanne

2014
You are here, 33 Orchard, New York
Observatory, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris

2012
Endless, Fort du Bruissin - Centre d'Art Contemporain, Lyon (La Salle de bains hors-les-murs/ cur. by Caroline Soyez-Petithomme)
Looking Through, Galerie Lisa Ruyter, Vienna
To Here Knows When, Feature Inc., New York


2011
Between Days, Feature Inc., New York
    
2009
To Everything, Feature Inc., New York

2006
Superpositioning, Feature Inc., New York


2002
Feature Inc., New York

1997
Feature Inc., New York

1993
Never Say Never to Always, Stephanie Theodore Gallery, New York

1992
To Here Knows When, Feature, New York

1985
White Room, White Columns, New York



GROUP SHOWS (SELECTION)
2018
LISA BECK + RAINIER LERICOLAIS, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris
Beyound Black and White, Westbeth Gallery, New York
Le Bon Coût, Samy Abraham, Paris
For your Infotainment, a special presentation at Frieze New York honoring Hudson of Feature, Inc
Strange Attractors, curated by Bob Nickas, Kerry Schuss Gallery, New York

2017
Doomtown, PICA - The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland
Color Block, Triple V, Paris
Thought Forms, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore MD
Playground, Galerie Emmanuel Hervé, Paris
EDGE, Philip Slein Gallery, Missouri
Abandoned Luncheonette, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York

2016
First Exhibition, Elizabeth Dee, Harlem, New York
Cosmic connections, David Totah gallery, New York
Where I end you begin, cb1 gallery, Los Angeles
Récit d'un temps court, Mamco, Geneva
Non figuratif: un regain d'intérêt, Centre d?art comteporain, Meymac
Geometrix: line, form, subvervsion, Curator?s Office, Washington DC
Strange abstraction, Fredericks & Freiser, New York
All Over, Galerie des galeries, Paris

2015
Thirty Shades of White, Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris
«30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. Bob Nickas at White Columns», White Columns, New York
«Flatfile», LABspace, Hillsdale New York
Unexpected Pieces from Shila Khatami, Mimosa Echard, Lisa Beck, Bruno Jakob, Matthieu Blanchard, Genêt Mayor, Bruno Botella, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris
Deep End, The Wassaic Project, Maxon Mills, New York
CHOICES Collectors Weekend, curated by Alfred Pacquement, Beaux-Arts de Paris
Iterations, THEODORE:Art, New York
Fertility, presented by Jane Kim, 33 Orchard, New York
The painter of Modern Life, curated by Bob Nickas, Anton Kern Gallery, New York

2014
The Last Brucennial, 837 Washington St, New York
Real Estate, Ventana 244, Brooklyn
The Optical Unconscious, curated by Fredi Fischli, Bob Nickas and Niels Olsen, Gebert Stiftung für Kultur, Rapperswil
This One's Optimistic: Pincushion, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain CT
No Ground But Say Ground, Halsey McKay Gallery, New York
Inhabiting Ten Eyck, Storefront TenEyck, Brooklyn, New York
LET'S GO LET GO
, In Memoriam Hudson, 33 Orchard, New York
Raving Disco Dolly on a Rock'n'Roll Trolley, envoy enterprises, New York
Another, Once Again, Many Times More, Martos Gallery, New York
Dark Map, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York
The Egg, LABspace, Great Barrington, MA

2013
LAT. 41° 7 N., LONG. 72° 19 W, Martos Gallery, East Marion, New York
The Shining Path, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris
Swing State, Jane Kim Gallery, New York
Diamonds, Diamonds, Gallery Diet, Miami
X-tra, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York
I want that inside me, Feature Inc., New York

2012
THING, curated by Susan Jennings, West Cornwall, CT
Creature from the Blue Lagoon, Martos Gallery, Bridgehampton
Exposition d'artistes né(e)s entre le 22 juin et le 22 juillet, Galerie de Multiples, Paris
Tell the Children, La Salle des Bains, Lyon, France

2011
bodybraingame, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
The 2011 Bridgehampton Biennial, curated by Bob Nickas, Martos Gallery, Bridgehampton
We Regret To Inform You There Is Currently No Space or Place for Abstract Painting, Martos Gallery, New York
Lisa Beck / Philippe Richard, Theodore: Art, New York

2010
Pull My Daisy, Galerie Lisa Ruyter, Vienna
Black Is the Color of My True Love?s Hair, NP Contemporary Art Center, New York
Daniel Hesidence Curates, Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York
Lisa Beck / Olivier Mosset, Bell Street Project Space, Vienna
Wall-to-Wall, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles
Skulture, Feature Inc., New York
Townie, Foley Gallery, New York
Portrait de l'artiste en motocycliste, Le Musée des Beaux Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds


2009
Portrait de l'artiste en motocycliste, Le Magasin, Grenoble
Cave Painting: Installment #1, curated by Bob Nickas, Gresham?s Ghost (third location), New York
Populate This Form, Feature Inc., New York
Group exhibition, curated by Bob Nickas, Martos Gallery, New York

2008
Shit, Feature Inc., New York

2007
Painting as Fact - Fact as Fiction, curated by Robert Nickas, de Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich

2006
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Amanda Lear, Envoy, New York
An Ongoing Low-Grade Mystery, curated by Bob Nickas, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
The O Show, curated by MatCH-Art, Kresge Foundation Gallery, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ

2005
The O Show, curated by MatCH-Art, Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Long Branch, NJ
Seriality, curated by Stephanie Theodore and MatCH-Art, Axel Raben Gallery, New York
The sun rises in the evening, Feature Inc., New York

2004
Galerie Francesca Pia, Bern
Itsy Bitsy Spider, Feature Inc., New York
Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, curated by Robert Nickas and Steve Lafreniere, MoMA P.S.1, Long Island City, New York

2003
Fast Forward: 20 Years of White Rooms, White Columns, New York
Small-Scale Sculpture and Anonymous Tantra Paintings, Feature Inc., New York

2002
Guide to Trust 2, curated by ANP, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Lisa Beck and Marisa Telleria-Diez, Rico, Brooklyn

2001
Not a. Lear, curated by ANP, Allston Skirt Gallery, Allston, MA; Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York
Timewave Zero / The Politics of Ecstasy, curated by Lionel Bovier and Jean-Michel Wicker, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz
Liste: The Young Art Fair, with Galerie Pia, Basel
Natural Wonders, Galerie Francesca Pia, Bern
Another, once again, many times more, Feature Inc., New York
Een goed in de weg staande tafel, curated by Jack Jaeger, Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam

2000
Not a. Lear, curated by ANP, Art Process, Paris; Galerie S. & H. De Buck, Ghent
Torch Gallery, Amsterdam
Hairy Forearm's Self-Referral, Feature Inc., New York
Hex Enduction Hour by The Fall, curated by Robert Nickas, Team Gallery, New York
ANP: City Projects, Galerie S. & H. De Buck, Ghent
The End, Exit Art, New York
Liste: The Young Art Fair, with Galerie Pia, Basel
Bubbles, curated by Edith Doove, Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art, Brussels
3ness, curated by ANP, Dike Blair, and Edith Doove, Musuem Dhondt-Dhaenens, Duerle
Sex in the Country, Forde l'Usine, Geneva
Open the pod bay doors, Hal, Feature Inc., New York

1999
Cookie Snow Feature, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam
curious.parking@stupendous.strawberry, Galerie S. & H. De Buck, Ghent
BmW, ANP, Antwerp
Up Your Head, Feature Inc., New York

1998
Yoyogaga, Feature Inc., New York
Lisa Beck, Jason Fox, Bill Komoski, M du B, F, H & g, Montreal
Utz, Lennon, curated by Stephanie Theodore, Weinberg Inc., New York
Paintings (Lisa Beck, Bill Komoski, David Moreno, John Torreano), Feature Inc., New York

1997
La Tradicion: Performing Painting, Exit Art, New York
Material Girls, curated by Harmony Hammond, Gallery 128, New York

1996
Lisa Beck/Lucky De Bellevue, Feature Inc., New York
Ab Fab, Feature Inc., New York

1994
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Feature Inc., New York
Joe?s Garage, curated by Stephanie Theodore, TZ?Art & Co., New York

1991
Stussy, Feature, New York

1990
Information, Terrain, San Francisco; curated by Robert Nickas February 3?27, Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York
Red, curated by Robert Nickas, Galerie Christine & Isy Brachot, Brussels
Invitational Drawing Show, Althea Viafora Gallery, New York
Godhead, Feature, New York


1989
Positive Show, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York
Romancing the Stone, Feature, New York
American Fine Arts, New York

1987
The Four Corners of Abstraction, White Columns, New York

1986
Credible/Incredible, curated by Lawrence Rinder, Four Walls Gallery, Hoboken, NJ Stavaridis Gallery, Boston

1985
Image/Abstract, curated by David Row and John Ford, Roughhouse, New York

1983
July Group, Nature Morte Gallery, New York



SELECTED PUBLICATIONS & ARTICLES
2015
The Middle of Everywhere, Monograph, Caroline Soyez-Petithomme (ed.), La Salle de bain, Lyon, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris, 2015

2014
Goleas, Janet. ART REVIEW: Another, Once Again, Many Times More on the North Fork,
Hamptons Art Hub, posted 9 August,

2014
Lequeux, Emmanuelle, Le Monde, Sunday 26th - Monday 27th January 2014, p.16

2013
Nickas, Bob. Lisa Beck, Annual Magazine, issue n°6
Lisa Beck à Lyon, Les InRockuptibles, n°896, January 30th to February 5th, p.102-3

2012
yes, no, something, nothing, never, always, Feature Inc, New York- catalog of selected works by Lisa Beck 1985-2010, interviews with Hudson and Bob Nickas

2011
Nickas, Bob. Catalog of the Exhibition, 2nd Cannons Publications, Los Angeles
Indrisek, Scott. The Pleasures of the Prosaic at the Bridgehampton Biennial, Modern Painters, posted 15 August
Rosenberg, Karen. All Nooks, Crannies, Bedrooms and Trees are Backdrops for Art, New York Times, 8 August C5 (reproductions)
Miller, Michael H. Learning from Bridgehampton, New York Observer, 12 July
Miller, Michael H. So Long, Chelsea! Bob Nickas to Liven Up the Art World this Summer with Bridgehampton Biennial, New York Observer, 1 July
Johnson, Ken. Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art, Prestel Publishing, New York

2010
Review of Skulture, Goings On About Town, New Yorker, 25 January, p.12
Rubin, David S., ed. Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s, with essays by David S. Rubin, Robert C. Morgan and Daniel Pinchbeck, San Antonio Museum of Art in association with MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 33, p.109

2009
Nickas, Bob. Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting, Phaidon Press, New York
Smith, Roberta. Review of To Everything, New York Times, 19 June, p.C29

2008
Interview on myartspace.com


2006
Sheets, Hilarie. Where Magic Mushrooms Bloom, Artnews, February, p.120?1

2004
Smith, Roberta. Review of Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, New York Times, 16 July, E28
Wilson, Michael. Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, Artforum, November, p.222

2003
Johnson, Ken. Alumni Return, Juxtaposing Past and Present, New York Times, 28 November
Wolfe, Charles T. The Plasticity of Perception, Flash Art, July-September, p.63?64 (reproduction)

2002
Farquharson, Alex, Timewave Zero/ The Politics of Ecstasy, Frieze, March, p.87 (reproduction)
Olson, Marisa S. Guide to Trust No. 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Artweek, May
Perret, Mai-thu, Lisa Beck and John Tremblay, Frieze, January/February, p.104 (reproduction)
Guide to Trust No. 2, exhibition catalogue, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (reproduction)

2001
Cotter, Holland. Another, Once Again, Many Times More, New York Times, Listings,11 May, E38
Ivy, Angus. Review of 3ness, Zingmagazine 14 (Winter), p.210?11

2000
Andrews, Max and Dawn Fulcher. Preview of Bubbles, Contemporary Visual Arts, July/August, p.82 (reproduction)
Dams, Jimi. Lisa Beck, Purple 5 (Summer), p.272?3 (reproduction)
Goings On About Town, New Yorker, 11 January
Critics? Picks, Open the pod bay doors, Hal, Time Out NewYork, 28 December, p.65
Liste 2000, The Young Art Fair, catalogue, Basel, Switzerland (reproduction)

1999
Braet, Jan. Koel Amerikaans, Knack, 17 March, p.77 (reproduction)
Doove, Edith. Verrasimgen uit Amerika, De Standaard, 3 February, p.2
Jones, Jonathan R. Review of Up Your Head, Contemporary Visual Arts, November/December, p.67 (reproduction)
Lambrecht, Luc. Americaans en Toch Niet, De Morgen, 12 February, p.14
Popelier, Bert. Jonge Amerikanen, De Financieel Economische Tijd, 3 February, p.12
Mob Rules (Review of Up Your Head), NY Arts, December
ANP: This Flight is Tonight, Zingmagazine 10 (Autumn), p.170-1 (reproduction)

1998
Cotter, Holland. Review of Yoyogaga, New York Times, 20 November, E43
Smith, Roberta, Review of Utz, New York Times, 22 February
Recommended, Time Out New York, 12 April, p.12

1997
Cotter, Holland. Review of Material Girls, New York Times, 31 October
Levin, Kim. Work in Progress ? Art and Exhibitionism in Soho, Village Voice, 22 April
Rubinstein, Raphael. On Broadway: Studios Without Walls, Art in America, June

1996
Levin, Kim. Village Voice, Choices, 6 March
Moody, Tom. Review of Ab Fab, Art Papers, November/December
Short List, New Yorker, 11 March

1994
Hess, Elizabeth. Garage Sale, Village Voice, 20 December
Levin, Kim. Garage Sale, Village Voice, Choices, 20 December
Nickas, Robert. Split Screen, BOMB , Summer (reproduction)

1992
Cotter, Holland. Lisa Beck and Peter Dudeck, New York Times, 19 June
Schwartzman, Alan. Review of Lisa Beck and Peter Dudeck, New Yorker, 15 June

1990
Red, exhibition catalogue with texts by Robert Nickas and Xavier Douroux, Galerie Christine & Isy Brachot, Brussels (reproduction)

1989
Brenson, Michael. Review of Positive Show, New York Times, 24 February
Smith, Roberta. Review of American Fine Arts group exhibition, New York Times



PUBLIC COLLECTIONS & FOUNDATIONS
Frac Pays de la Loire
Collezione Maramotti
Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Chaud-de-Fonds

Elizabeth Dee : How do you view these paintings in your new exhibition?

 

Lisa Beck:  I always view paintings as objects. Mostly when we look at paintings, we're focusing on the surface, and the image, while the object itself is sort of ignored- it's just the vehicle for the image/content. Like when reading a book, you usually don't think, "oh, look at this piece of paper and what font is that?", you concentrate on the story. You could, but mostly you don't, because the content is emphasized.

With paintings, I want the physicality of them to be always upfront and equal to the image/ content.  I like to have physical qualities alongside or equivalent to the  narrative thing in it. I think that has to do somehow with coming up in the 70s, with minimalism and this emphasis on the object, how everything is an object, and has its own specific qualities. Part of the reason I'm interested in shiny materials and paint applications that can be kind of uncontrolled is that they put an emphasis on the materials and their qualities as having something to say and not just being a messenger. The thing itself is a message, it's not just telling a story, it is a story too.

 

Elizabeth Dee:  So you're relating to sculptural minimalism, the examination of the specific qualities of an object, and the environment created by these, lending to the theater of the object.

 

Lisa Beck: Right. And so with these reflective surfaces, when you move it looks different, if you're wearing a red shirt and you stand in front it then it looks different, if it's lighter in the room or darker in the room, it looks different, so they have this - for me, anyway, a sense of variability. I try to encourage this sort of sculptural effect, the kind of effect of there being something else to see as you move around a sculpture.

By using such simple forms, it challenges you to a degree, because it's simple but also mysterious. It forces you to focus on the physical qualities of the thing, which I find very intriguing. You have to make an effort to understand by becoming aware of its specific qualities. The same way you look at a stranger walking towards you on the street and gain certain information about who they are, based on how they walk, what color clothes they have on, and so on.

 

Elizabeth Dee:  Do you think of minimalism as a stripping down to the elemental?

 

Lisa Beck: Yes, but in doing that stripping down, it came to this sort of ecstatic involvement with the present moment and standing in front of this thing, and that experience.  It's an experiential thing. There's a way of viewing minimalism as a kind of relative of psychedelia. Years ago, I saw a cartoon in The New Yorker and it was called Mayberry L.S.D., and it's Barney and Andy from The Andy Griffith Show, and they're sitting there really stoned, and one of them is saying, "have you ever really looked at your hands?"

And Minimalism has this same quality of hyper focus on physical details,  this particular angle, this particular size, this particular shape, this particular color, this particular placement. You're almost encouraged to look into the molecules and see how they're lined up. It's a sensual, and beautiful, and lush experience, and even though all that is supposedly removed, it's still there- in fact it?s highlighted.

 

Elizabeth Dee:   Would this be for you an organizing principle, or the modus operendi of the series? 

 

Lisa Beck: In making these paintings, I thought, "Let's take a very limited number of elements, and see how much I can do with them, or how little, and see if it  can go to this other place for people."

And so a given line in the work, and its relationship to these two dots is a story in itself.  They are so close but not touching, there is a soft area of color right up against a hard metallic edge, your reflection is causing a change in the shiny surface.  There is a flat surface but it also has depth. That's one kind of story.

You can also look at it and say, "it's a horizon, and there's the  moon reflected in a lake," which is  another kind of story.

 

Elizabeth Dee: But the story is not the beginning for you, for you the story is an open source to be driven.

 

Lisa Beck:  For me, there's always an abstractive impulse, and  a descriptive impulse. I don't see these as opposite really, but rather two sides of the same coin. 

So I'm very involved with formal play,  and at the same time there is definitely a landscape/ sky /space feeling in the images. I have always had an deep interest in space exploration, and the astounding fact of these many little balls spinning around the sun and we are standing on one of them. The variation in scale of it all is almost impossible to take in. And in the mind it becomes a- a sort of abstraction . I'm trying to see it and understand it by picturing it.

In looking at these paintings, viewers often start talking about skies, the moon, space,  the sunset... But i's also just lines, and color, and a circle or two.  An artwork can tell more than one story at a time.