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Biography


Robert Beck was born in 1958 in Baltimore and moved to New York City in 1978 to study filmmaking at New York University. In 1993, he attended the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is a cross-disciplinary artist recognized for his precise use of materials, ranging from traditional art supplies to such non-art materials as mortician’s wax, industrial reflective paint, latent finger print powder and gunpowder. Trained as a filmmaker, he works in a montage-like fashion, a ‘horizontal’ process that allows him to utilize the associative power of adjacent images and artworks. The crux of his art is subjectivity or self. Masculinity, violence, sexuality, loss and America are recurring themes. In 1995, Beck was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists’ Books, as well as an Art Matters, Inc. grant. He received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 1999. In 2007, Beck had a solo exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH. In 2008, Beck changed his given, or father’s, name as a work of art by a single vowel to Buck. In 2009, he bought a small off-grid property along the U.S.-Mexico border south of Marfa, Texas, where he finds inspiration. His contribution to the visual and media arts fields includes exhibiting, writing and teaching. Buck’s attention to the viewer’s experience and reception of art is the legacy of a constellation of influences, including artists Marcel Duchamp, Cy Twombly, Bruce Nauman, Robert Gober and Cady Noland, filmmakers Robert Bresson, David Lynch and Budd Boetticher, novelist Cormac McCarthy, forensic science, the American southwest and the teachings of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Since 2018, he has been an art editor of “The Lacanian Review”. His work is included in museum and private collections internationally. His moving image works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York, and his visual art is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and Ulterior Gallery, New York. In 2019, Buck received a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Award. Buck lives and works in New York City and far West Texas.



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