Drawing and Drama
by Rosemarie Beck

February 9 - March 13, 2015

Embroidery on cloth
(more images)



In 2002, towards the end of her career as painter and embroiderer, Rosemarie Beck (1923-2003) spoke of her attraction to narrative art, to which she returned in the 1950s after winning recognition for her abstract paintings. “I must have been a secret realist all along,” she noted, because I had never stopped drawing from the figure.” The works you see in the gallery are among the many thousand figure drawings Beck produced. The four small drawings are from her final notebook, kept at her bedside; the remainder are from 1991.

Beck’s drawings are studies, they are musings in shorthand for more expansive projects, and they are acute observations of the body and of human interactions. And they reveal Beck’s love of drama and of theater. They are the starting point for larger narrative compositions, like the painting included in the exhibition, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In Beck’s drawings we find her mastery of the human form and the human condition.

The Helzer Art Gallery is pleased to be partnering with Portland State University and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education in offering three concurrent exhibitions devoted to Beck’s paintings, embroidery, and drawings.

All works in the exhibition are lent by Nora Beck, Portland, OR.

The Rock Creek gallery is open Monday- Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The gallery is located in Building 3 of the Rock Creek Campus of Portland Community College at 17705 NW Springville Road, Portland.

For more information contact Prudence Roberts at

Prudence Roberts
Director, Helzer Art Gallery



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