Coordinates - Cook Convention Center
In Kim Beck's wall-hung, knotted tapestry Coordinates of 2001, an airplane flies overhead, referring to the international outlook and audiences of the convention center. The casual glance upward directs the view past a utility mast. Power lines diagonally cross the image in a dynamic rhythm. The monumental work hangs to the left of the stairwell to the second floor in the West Concourse of the Cook Convention Center. Coordinates was initially exhibited as a floor piece. It was acquired for the Cook Convention Center through the fundraising efforts of the Greater Memphis Arts Council in 2003.
About the Artist
Using images of architecture and landscape, Kim Beck makes drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, books, cutout sculptures and installations that survey peripheral and suburban spaces. Electrical transformers, cell towers, and billboards grow like invasive species. And invasive species, such as dandelions, pop up in photographs of lawns and installations using vinyl decals, stuck directly to walls and windows. These create mutated landscapes, alien-but-familiar spaces in a continuous state of flux. Her work urges a reconsideration of the built environment - the peculiar street signs, gas station banners, overgrown weeded lots, and self-storage buildings — bringing the banal and everyday into focus.
Kim Beck grew up in Colorado and currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she is professor of art at Carnegie Mellon. Beck's work is included in the collection of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, among other notable art institutions. Her work has been shown on the High Line, at the Walker Art Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, the Warhol Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Omi International Arts Center and is currently on view at 100 Acres: the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Art Omi, Yaddo, Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, International Studio & Curatorial Program, Cité Internationale des Arts, Vermont Studio Center, & VCCA and has received awards from ARS Electronica, Pollock-Krasner, Heinz Foundation, Thomas J. Watson Foundation and Printed Matter. Beck has an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and BA from Brandeis University. She is represented by Mixed Greens, NYC and Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia and is an Associate Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon.