Martin Beck is a New York-based artist whose exhibitions and projects engage questions of historicity and authorship and they draw from the fields of architecture, design, and popular culture. A ‘leitmotif’ in Beck’s practice is the notion of display: his works often engage histories of exhibiting and communication formats and, on a material level, negotiate display’s function as a condition of image-making. Recent exhibitions and projects include “Remodel” at Ludlow 38 in New York (with Ken Saylor) and “Communitas” at Camera Austria, Graz, (2011), contributions to the 29th São Paulo and the 4th Bucharest Biennales (2010), and “Panel 2—‘Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes….’” at Gasworks in London (2008). Beck is the author of About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe (2007), an Exhibit viewed played populated (2005), and the forthcoming The Aspen Complex (2012). Beck teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Generally, teaching in art schools can be characterized by two approaches. In one approach the teaching of skills, particularly media skills, is deemed to be essential for developing an artistic practice. In the other the social processes and cultural exposure that one, by default, encounters in an art school environment are considered to be the most important aspect of art education.