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Artist of the Month
July 2020

Artist of the Month

Rick Beck

Rick Beck creates cast glass sculptures which focus on form and color; with subjects as varied as household items (spoons, forks, and pull toys) to the human figure. Whatever the topic is, in Beck's hands the subject is raised to new heights of meaning, both visually and conceptually. Beck is represented by Raven Gallery, Aspen, Colorado.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Rick Beck

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Speaking of his inspiration for his figurative work Beck says, "My wife, Valerie, got me a book by Yve-Alain Bois about the competitive relationship between Picasso and Matisse. Their artistic dialogue about the figure has fired my imagination, especially the way they shared and borrowed images and ideas from one another, as well as from history and literature. Between this book, and some recent visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, I've been inspired by the use of shape, form, and mass to create something more universal than the literal subject."

“My work in glass is a synthesis of human and mechanical form, with an emphasis on formal sculptural aspects. I am interested in playing the volumes of the mass against the rhythm of the lines. I enjoy the interplay of the visual (visceral) versus the verbal (descriptive, technical). The work should challenge the eye and the mind.”

About Rick Beck

In 1982, Rick Beck earned his B.A. in art from Hastings College in Nebraska, where he studied glassmaking under Richard Bird. Then in 1989, he received his M.F.A. in glass from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he studied with Bill Boysen. A sought-after instructor, Beck has taught at some of the finest glass schools in the U.S. including the Penland School of Craft in Penland, NC; Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA; and the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN.

The first step in Beck's process is to create a clay form, from which a silicone mold is then made.  Recycled molten glass, which is fired to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit, takes the shape of the mold. It takes anywhere from two weeks to two months for these pieces to cool to room temperature.

The form and surface of the sculpture is then finalized by cutting the glass with diamond blades, resulting in a rough and unpolished surface. Light passes through the matte glass creating a subtle and beautiful quality of light, without distracting from a focus on the form of the piece. 

His recent series of large-scale abstracted, figurative work are often constructed of several parts. The assembled components express the weighty, monumental aspects of the human form while at the same time they often render the body in very lively poses.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Raven Gallery, Aspen, Colorado, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.