b. 1963, Bludenz, Austria; lives and works in New York, U.S., Vienna, Austria.
Martin Beck is a visual artist known for his extensive research into narratives from architecture, design, and popular culture. His artworks encompass a wide range of media, including installation, photography, video, writing, sculpture, and drawing. Collaboration is also an integral part of Beck’s practice, having worked closely with artist Julie Ault since the late 1990s on various exhibitions, publications, and exhibit design projects. Beck’s artistic repertoire is diverse, spanning from intricate mixed-media installations to subtle architectural interventions. One recurring theme in his work is the exploration of the exhibition form and its impact on our perception, both socially and aesthetically. Through his adaptable use of mediums and strategies, Beck aims to critically examine the boundaries between artworks, exhibition structures, and the broader social and cultural context. His exhibitions delve into the intricate relationship between art and its surrounding conditions, as well as their connections to popular culture. Often incorporating artefacts, works by other artists, architects, designers, and historical objects into his projects and shows, Beck expands the role of artist and artwork to include the paraphernalia, processes and institutional contexts that stratify exhibitionary practices in order to call them into question and examine their constitutive effects in the production of meaning. This practice encapsulates the idea that the art exhibition and the work of art are intertwined, forming a cohesive critical engagement with culture, institutions, and the exhibition format itself.
Martin Beck’s recent exhibitions include Last Night, 47 Canal, New York (2022); dans un second temps, Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Lorraine, Metz (2018); rumors and murmurs, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (2017); Program, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge (2014–16),the particular way in which a thing exists, Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen, Concordia University, Montréal (2012); Social Abstraction, Kunstraum Lakeside, Klagenfurt (2010); and Panel2—'Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes...’, Gasworks, London (2008).
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