Brian Beck
Bio | | #brian.a.beck

Indie Folk, May 2020, curated by Melissa E. Feldman at Adams and Ollman, Portland OR
Organic Archival: Dec 5- Jan 12, 2020, Group show with Nikita Ares, Brian Beck, Dawn Cerny, Warren Dykeman, Alfred Harris, Andrew Hendrixson, Damien Hoar de Galvan, Ken Kelly, Sharon Louden, Brian Sanchez, Maya Strauss, Heather Wilcoxon, and Mully Zuckerman-Hartung
1 ROOM: August 2018, A special exhibition during the Seattle Art Fair.
rot: December 1 – January 13,  2018 - Solo exhibition
Yellow: Group show with Gillian Theobald, Warren Dykeman, Robert Hardgrave, Brian Cypher, Carole d’Inverno, Heather Wilcoxon, Helen O’Leary
May 7th – June 4th 2016
3 ROOMS: August 2016, a special exhibition for the Seattle Art Fair at the King Street Station.
Obsolescence: July 2015, Solo exhibition
Indie Folk, May 2020, curated by Melissa E. Feldman
Beck can build a house—he lives in one he built—but prefers to make much smaller things like objects resembling traditional wooden toys, cuckoo clocks, and birdhouses. They are also made traditionally, with a set of antique German hand tools. Creating these charmingly surreal, flawlessly executed, yet deceptively simple vignettes involves nothing less than dovetail joints, German fretwork, and lathed Russian-type bergs. “Working this way,” Beck explains, “slows you down and makes you much more aware of the wood, and how things are going to fit together.”

The work is informed by his fascination with historic architecture and folk woodworking, northern European in particular. And while picking up on topics ranging from the pursuit of the black tulip, Norse mythology, and the logging industry, Beck’s creations ultimately come from the wide-open interior world of child’s play and the imagination.

—Melissa E. Feldman

Brian Beck: rot
Beck’s latest work questions the stability of a single meaning conventionally granted to a familiar object. Departing from what appear to be wooden children’s toys, the art pieces are composed from carefully handcrafted and tenuously related elements, abstracted to their basic shapes and color. Beck’s category-defying display of three-dimensional collages mounted on white walls breaks the boundaries between daily objects, sculpture, painting, and conceptual art.   

—Elena Deem