Rick Heath and Merrily Orsini
KACF is proud to present a body of work by master glass artist Rick Beck, whose work also was featured in our Millennium Glass exhibition in 2000. Beck is known for his large-scale cast glass sculpture depicting industrial, everyday objects such as screws, bolts and clamps, objects that usually are viewed as inconsequential parts of larger items. Beck enlarges the shapes and forms of these mundane objects and creates fascinating and unique images of them in cast glass. By using a fragile material, glass, to depict items usually regarded as sturdy and nearly indestructible, Beck creates an interesting balance and contradiction in his work"
"My work in glass is a synthesis of human and mechanical form, with an emphasis on formal aspects. I am interested in playing the volumes of mass against the rhythm of the lines described by the threads of the screws and the flutes of the bits. I enjoy the interplay of the visual (visceral) versus the verbal (descriptive/technical). The work should challenge the eye and the mind.” – Rick Beck
Beck’s cast glass implements and sculptural groupings transform
ostensibly simple, mundane subjects into conceptually rich and provocative
meditations on material and high culture….in his hands the exaggerated
size and visual properties of these screws, bolts, and augers, whether
oriented solely as monolithic forms or configured in groups as tableaux,
intersect with the still-life painting tradition as well as the dream
world and its psychological subtexts.” – Mark
Richard Leach, director, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, North
In 1982 Beck earned his B.A in art from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, where he studied under Richard Bird. In 1989 he received his M.F.A. in glass from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he studied under Bill Boysen. Since then Beck’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions across the U.S. and overseas, and it has been acquired for collections including those of McDonald’s Corporation; the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the XL Screw Corporation in Wheeling, Illinois. It also has been published in a variety of periodicals including American Craft and Glass.
Beck also has taught in some of the finest glass programs in the U.S., including the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina; Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington; and the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee.