Robert Beck, Untitled (Clean), 2004, mixed media on stainless steel bathroom partition, 58 x 69 1/4".

Robert Beck


ROBERT BECK’S RECENT EXHIBITION, “dust”—organized by the Wexner’s Bill Horrigan—seemingly affirmed two contradictory positions: On the one hand, each piece in the show requires the discipline of psychology as the methodological basis of its interpretation. On the other hand, each work refuses any coherent psychological reading whatsoever. In this way, Beck’s work avoids clichéd interpretations while at the same time handling the very substance of creative labor.

Consider a group of small, framed, meticulously crafted works on paper. They seem to be examples of drawings produced in art therapy; indeed, all of these works, called Untitled, have parenthetical explanations of their source material—e.g., Untitled (“Psychological Evaluation of Children’s Drawings” by Edith M. Koppitz/“The Artist as Therapist” by Arthur Robbins), 2001/2004. Among these drawings, a few sheets of

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.