ON MAIN: Edgy New Art Space Hosts Jarrod Beck

ON MAIN: Edgy New Art Space Hosts Jarrod Beck

It’s all about altitude with attitude.

Two long-time Telluride locals and taste-makers, Ellen Geldbaugh and Catherine Walsh, envision ON MAIN as a collaborative space dedicated to fine art and the art of living well.

Their first joint show opens Thursday, August 31, 359 East Colorado Avenue.

The shared goal of the duo is to push the cultural envelope in town by bringing progressive art experiences to the Telluride region –  and to a wider audience.

ON MAIN debuts with “Structures,” the work of  Jarrod Beck, who remains in Telluride through September 2 to talk about his art. Hours during the Telluride Film Festival weekend are extended from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., then 11 a.m.-7  p.m., Tuesday – Sunday, throughout the fall season.

Please scroll down to watch several videos that further explain the work of Jarrod Beck.

Jarrod Beck, artist, educator. His work made of, for and by Telluride launches new art space, ON  MAIN.

The work of Anselm Kiefer is made of paint, tar, paper, staples, canvas, rough foil formed by throwing a bucket of molten lead on a canvas and then letting it cool there. Also sand, epoxy, old metal leaf, copper wire, woodcuts and lumps of busted ceramic.

The man was clearly a kitchen-sink artist –  and arguably one of the greatest painters of his generation.

The 3D wall art or, perhaps better,the 3D paintings of Brooklyn- and Texas-based artist Jarrod Beck is as muscular and as sensuous as Kiefer’s art and just as pictorially forceful. And it is made of, well, Telluride – using aluminum and glass as vehicles to deliver a message about place and about history, both art and regional.

A piece on the large wall at the back of gallery is particularly Kieferesque. Entitled “Interrupt Horizon,” the aluminum landscape bleeds into the sands; elsewhere it explodes.

Interrupt Horizon, Jarrod Beck.

Telluride was shaped by powerful forces – and we are not talking about the almighty buck. Well before luxury condos, there were glaciers and volcanoes.

In part, because his work was inspired by the region and meant to capture the inherent paradox of the place we call home – defiant, breathtaking beauty out of violent upheavals – Beck’s pieces were shaped by violent forces too. Created under intense heat and pressure, some forms look like what might emerge from the crevices between the cliff-like forms in a Clyfford “landscape,” rugged shapes that are at once earthly and unearthly, but always intense.

These videos graphically illustrate Beck’s process. To say the artist is on fire is an understatement.

Walking from the furnace and pouring aluminum:

Pouring aluminum into wood molds:

Aluminum cools as the wood burns away.

In some of the forms Beck fashions, the rough and tumble ones made of aluminum, surfaces glint with reflected, ambient light. What’s more, they appear to have escaped the bold, heavy impasto of an Abstract Impressionist painting to assert their rough-and-tumble beauty in a solo act.

Terre, a runaway from an AbEx painting?

Beck’s pieces are also souvenirs of Telluride. Jarrod Beck first visited a year ago and fell in love on the spot.

He also thinks of his art as analogous to Proust’s madeleines, imbued with the potential to evoke powerful memories of things past – a recent hike or further back, before our box canyon was formed. They are meant to help us see more clearly what we might take for granted as we walk Telluride’s trails or look up at the majestic peaks at sunset: the spectacular geology of the region.

And the glass works? Are they are metaphors for the emptiness in our lives? Perhaps at first glance, but then when they are transformed by the natural light that pours into the ON MAIN space, light that seems to caress and paint them, these vessels become chambers of possibility.

Glass works, chambers of possibility?

What does Beck have to say about his influences?

The list is wide and deep and runs across time and disciplines.

The striking, skinny figures of sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker Alberto Giacometti.

The loose confederacy of painters lumped together under the banner of Abstract Expressionism. Clyfford Still, Jackson Pollack, Robert Motherwell, Adolf Gottlieb, William Baziotes, Barnett Newman, etc. all of whom adhered to the primordial and primitive, which echo in Beck’s art.

Mark Rothko, part of that AbEx fraternity, was a painter of landscapes of the soul.

Conceptual artist Robert Smithson who, in the 1970s, chose to reconnect with the environment, hence work like his famed Spiral Jetty, which reflected an abiding interest in science and art.

Richard Serra, a manual worker, who was intimately involved with the process of making and the logic of materials.



(In fact, Beck holds both a BA and MA in architecture from Tulane University and an MFA in studio art from the University of Texas, Austin.)

Beck’s show is the second in the art space. The first, in 2015 at the same location, was a lifestyle shopping experience featuring high-end, uniquely designed furniture and objects for the home. This time around, Geldbaugh partnered with Walsh, a long term supporter of the arts. Walsh envisioned an exhibition as unique and edgy as Telluride itself. In her mind, Jarrod Beck was the ideal choice.


More about Jarrod Beck, Catherine Walsh and Ellen Geldbaugh:

Born in Albany, New York, Jarrod Beck is an installation artist, printmaker and sculptor. His residencies, awards, solo and collaborative exhibitions are extensive, spanning the US, India, South America, China and Europe.

Beck has successfully bridged his experience in architecture, exhibition design and fine art to create a new body of work to be shown for the first time at ON MAIN. Again, “Structures” features sculpture fashioned from aluminum and glass and was creatively exclusively for the Telluride space.

The following video illustrates Beck’s depth as an artist and educator:

Catherine Walsh is on the board of trustees of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and a beauty/fashion consultant with clients in New York, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Ellen Geldbaugh has worked in both interior design and architecture and has had a presence in Telluride for 20+ years.







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