New York

Robert Beck

CRG Gallery

Failure can be productive, Robert Beck’s most recent exhibition tells us. The drawings on view constitute the final installment of a body of work that takes as its point of departure “projective psychological testing”—the method of art therapy that requires patients to draw certain items (houses, trees, people) with a view to giving form to their subconsciouses. Beck’s latest works, like their predecessors, contain the artist’s (loose) re-creations of actual patient drawings and snippets of text from their doctors’ assessments, but they are distinguished by one salient detail: Each begins with an earlier drawing that Beck deemed insufficient to show on its own, on top of which he illustrates a second, sometimes a third case study. The resultant compositions depict figures in crude outline, or trapped in bubbles. Breasts drip blood and skeletal limbs reach upward like tree branches. We see

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