Department of Fine Arts

Blanche & Romie Shapiro

Fine Art 2019, Graduate Exhibitions
Michael Beck, Between Man and Place
, 2019, Second Year, Fine Arts



Michael Beck works in a minimalistic, reductive, and limited code. Using reduction, dense images that capture a certain event are obtained.  The freezing of particular moments into abstract and universal representations creates tension between the intensity of the trapped moment and the feeling that it is "unoccupied time," a time when nothing seems to happen.

In the works there are traces of the presence which peep through the disappearance and silence, traces that invite the viewer to devote himself to the temporal elements, to the material, to the mass of matter, to the density of emotion. What seems at first glance to be an aesthetic preoccupation with the design or a minimalistic formalist mood turns out to be a concrete, very particular and personal preoccupation.
In the space there is a record player playing music that Michael performs with his friends. However, the sounds emanate from another work, a sort of minimalist painting placed in another area of space. On another wall, is a print of that same record. The experience of listening to music, which usually signifies feelings of closeness and unity, is presented in the space as a sign of solitude and separation.

It is possible to interpret the wall on which are numerous and neatly arranged pieces of cloth in the same manner; The expanses of the valley (Jezreel) are full of pathos plowed into Michael's legs, as if they are replicated and organized as independent units, isolated, like dozens of eyes that look at the possibility of harmony between the artist and the reactor of his quarry. To the viewer, who is not intimate with Michael’s valley experience, it seems as though his march is random, from one dream to another. But the objects woven into the space remind us that the journey is not coincidental: the broken bed, the child fascinated by a stone, the glass spears that mark a direction. Are they objects collected in his journey? or perhaps an invitation – an order? Now it’s time for the viewer to go wandering.


Michael Beck
Second Year
Between Man and Place