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Martha Beckman: Collection

Mar 16–May 24, 2020

The Vitrine

Free & Open for All

Martha Beckman’s art making practice is rooted in a compulsion to fill space with objects made by her own hands. Her process challenges accepted ideals of craft and mass production to promote an idiosyncratic and flawed output. Her work explores ideas of abundance, variation and organization in color, form, and motif.

By arranging and rearranging the objects in relation to each other, Beckman creates and adheres to organizational structures in order to learn more about the individual pieces. She anthropomorphizes the works and engages with them as an evolving and growing cast of characters. Beckman creates diagrams of their formal traits, issues personality tests, and assess their behavior in relation to one another. She also creates color worlds for them and observes how the context alters the perception of the objects within the group and the group as a whole.

Collection, and the practice that produced it, meditates on the human’s need to create, categorize, and organize themselves, others, and the things around them. As an installation of decorative art, it comments on the current state of algorithmic marketing and our embrace of arbitrary taxonomies by which we define ourselves and those around us.

Martha Beckman is a Providence, RI born, and Brooklyn-bred designer and artist currently living and working in Milwaukee. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, she worked in mass-produced home goods and interior design for recognized brands while simultaneously maintaining a studio practice centered on hand craft and ceramics. She currently teaches as an adjunct professor in the Industrial Design department at MIAD and maintains a studio and consulting practice. It really gets on her nerves when Google tells her what’s on her mind.

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