Stephanie Beck creates sculptural “drawings” in wood that abstractly trace lines of the human body and other natural forms. Constructed from multiple short lengths of wood hinged together with wooden pegs, the lines curve into shapes, creating unique gestures as they pull toward the earth. The segmented lines are awkwardly elegant, emphasizing the vulnerability and beauty of nature and the body. The spareness of the work creates a space for contemplation and interpretation. Stephanie Beck received an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2007. Her work has been exhibited widely, both in the United States and internationally, including group shows at Hunterdon Art Museum, A.I.R Gallery, Fort Collins Museum of Art, Cue Art Foundation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, International Print Center (New York, NY), and Cite de l’architecture et du patrimonie, Paris, France, as well as a solo show at the Philadelphia International Airport. She was the recipient of the Studio Residency program at the Museum of Art and Design, NYC in 2016. She currently lives in Queens, NY and is a resident artist at ChaShaMa’s Space to Create in Brooklyn, NY.
I create plywood and wood mosaics in shapes that are simultaneously organic and architectural. They are inspired by the variations in plywood edge patterns, which are reminiscent of the markings of different types of sparrows. I combine multiple types of plywood with dark and light wood to highlight contrasts in color and pattern. The final forms suggest arched doorways, windows, or buildings from above, but exist as their own unique objects, resisting a specific interpretation. I am interested in working below thought and words and creating meaning through collaboration with the material. I began working in wood in 2019, after ten-plus years creating sculptures out of paper. The change was a reaction to the political and social climate as well as changes in my personal life. I felt the need to engage with a natural, weighty material that embodied gravity and time, and with which I could explore connections between nature and humanity.