Rosemary Beck

Maxwell Library, Second Floor Lounge
January 18 -March 29, 2019

Rosemary Beck was a New York painter, needleworker, musician and journal writer. Her prolific forty-year career invites an examination of the sexual politics of the post-war avant-garde, an exploration of the influence of music and literature on the arts, and a deep reflection on issues facing women in the arts. Beck made her name in Manhattan during the 1950s, the heyday of the New York School, with which she was affiliated. She pursued an independent artistic vision, moving from non-objective to figurative painting when Abstract Expressionism was at the height of its acclaim. Beck was a trained violinist who performed classical music during decades in which jazz ruled New York City. She was a passionate reader of fiction, plays, and poetry and an eloquent writer who lectured on art.

The images within this exhibition are lithographs printed in the early 1960’s and reflect Beck passion for classical music. Each print is set in what appears to be an East Side apartment living room where a trio is playing in practice or performance. The figurative style that Beck adopted was influenced by her early abstract paintings where volume and space shift to create voids.

This collection is from a generous donation by Jules Sherman who owned Drum Press in New York City. Drum Press was a commercial printing firm that produced limited artist edition from 1960 thru 1963 using an experimental paper plate process, where the artist drew directly onto a sheet of paper that was then used to produce an edition. Edition sizes varied dramatically as the paper plate would degrade.