SCULPTOR TOVA BECK-FRIEDMAN EXPLORES PRIMAL IMAGES IN ONE-PERSON SHOW
Tova Beck-Friedman, who draws inspiration from ancient cultures in her quest to give meaning to contemporary issues, will present a one-person show of her sculpture and drawings in the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson University in Wayne from March 15 through April 16.
An opening reception for the exhibit, titled "Tova Beck-Friedman -- Drawings and Sculpture," will be held on Wednesday, March 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the galleries. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Beck-Friedman would like the viewer to read her primordial images as a way of seeing ourselves in a larger context. "I look through the lens of the so-called primitive civilizations and its mythologies in order to sharpen my vision and understanding of society," she explains.
The sculptor, a resident of Hoboken, requires her sculpture to relate to the environment in which it is situated and to have a meditative quality. "Since an artwork should not be didactic, ideas can only be hinted at," she notes. "I give myself tools of analysis which enable me to engage in a dialogue with contemporary issues."
Beck-Friedman's interest in ancient cultures where people "regarded themselves as an integral part of nature and worshipped a deity, the Goddess, outdoors in sacred groves" led to the monolithic forms her sculpture assumes. In recent years, the artist has gradually focused more emphasis on placing her figures in groups.
Writing for Sculpture magazine, art critic Margaret Sheffield describes Beck-Friedman's semi-abstract figures as "the monumental feminine, dramatized as archetypes based on ancient and modern myth. These figures, whether of adobe, clay, ferro-concrete or stone, do not narrate a particular story, but are rich metaphors inspired by the ancient world and by the artist's search for her own ancestors in a patriarchal society."
Beck-Friedman, who is originally from Israel and lived in Japan for a time, has exhibited her work internationally including one-person shows in Israel; Tokyo, Japan; and London, England. Her sculpture is held in numerous public collections including The Newark Museum and the New Jersey State Museum as well as the campus of William Paterson University.
Also on view in the Ben Shahn Galleries from March 15 through April 16 are "The Digital Canvas: An Exhibition of Work Produced by 12 Women Artists on a Personal Computer Printer" and "Virtual Artifacts: Computer and Mixed Media Works by 12 Women." For additional information, please call the Ben Shahn Galleries at 973-720-2654.