September 19, 2018

“Robert Beck: Archetype” At New Hope Arts Center

“WHISTLERS DOG”: This work by Robert Beck is one of more than 40 paintings featured in “Robert Beck: Archetype,” on view at the New Hope Arts Center through October 7. Beck, who has a studio in Solebury, Pa., is the Center’s 2018 Legacy Artist.

New Hope Arts Center at 2 Stockton Avenue in New Hope, Pa., presents Robert Beck, their 2018 Legacy Artist, in “Robert Beck: Archetype,” on view until October 7. The exhibition showcases 40 paintings from Beck’s most recent work: images of New York, Maine, and the Bucks County area.

An archetype is a thing or behavior we recognize as a unique “type,” and the term fits the artist as well as the art. Beck has been giving us a good look at ourselves in his distinctive way for a quarter of a century. There is an observation about being human at the core of his paintings. Known for presenting a wide range of subjects, genres, and experiences in his images, Beck shares what he has discovered in each. “I’m an acute observer,” he says. “My subjects aren’t just what I see — they are what I learn. I paint in a language of shared experience because I’m portraying an encounter.”

 “My subjects are not static moments. Viewers should sense a before and after — things happening outside the frame,” says Beck. “It’s not sufficient that you can tell the men are fishing for shad off Lewis Island; I want you to feel the evening begin to cool and hear the hushed voices on the water.”

Beck has had 33 solo shows, and has participated 50 juried exhibitions.

Beck’s special guest for this show is ceramicist/potter Katherine Hackl, whose work includes sculpture made of cast bronze, porcelain, coral, and copper.

Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit