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TOVA BECK-FRIEDMAN--Artworks for Sale.   BIDDINGTON'S ART GALLERY--More Paintings and Sculpture.

Creative Process at Biddington's
Tova photo-collage Lament

Tova Beck-Friedman
Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist

Current Exhibition:
TOVA BECK-FRIEDMAN "Memory Imprints"
September 14-October 9, 2005
Yeshiva University Museum
, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY10011

CREATIVE PROCESS visits the studio of Israeli sculptor & installation artist Tova Beck-Friedman in midtown Manhattan.

Tova Beck-Friedman   Lament
C Print Triptych, 2001
34" x 92"

Tova Beck-Friedman: Myths reveal the symbols, meanings and values that make up the foundation of a culture. Ancient cultures used myths and archetypal images as metaphors that explained their concept of self, society and the cosmos. As cultures evolve, their myths are constantly unfolding. As a visual artist I like to refer to the stories of mythology--alluding to them, but not narrating them.

Small sculptures Tova Beck-Friedman
Tova Beck-Friedman: An integral part of growing up in Israel was absorbing the concepts of the biblical stories as the link to our past . Moving to the US in the 1970's, I was affected by the women's movement. The synthesis of these experiences led me to explore my roots from a feminist point of view, probing into and re-defining the myths on which I was raised--linguistically, metaphorically and visually.

Tova Beck-Friedman   Small Sarcophagi
Clay, 2001-2002
10" to 18" high

Tova Heads installation

Tova Beck-Friedman: In supplementing my art-making with reading, I have discovered myths which point to humankind's long-established custom of worshipping unusual stones. The black stone of the Ka'aba in Mecca, the rock in Jerusalem on which the Dome of the Rock is built, and Stonehenge in the British Isles stand in testimony to what is believed to have originated as archetypal images.

Tova Beck-Friedman
Installation: (un)related Recollections
Ferro-Cement & Clay 2000-02
40" to 56" high

Tova Beck-Friedman photoColumns 2

Tova Beck-Friedman: Like all visual artists, I process ideas into images. I reflect on the world around me--majestic formations of desert landscapes, bare tree forms, ancient stones and the human figure. These forms are images in which my perception is grounded.

Tova Beck-Friedman   Columns 2
Inkjet Print, 2001
25" x 19"

ossuary with snake goddess Tova Beck-Friedman

Tova Beck-Friedman: Sometimes, it seems, one has to travel far away to gain perspective on one's own culture. I came to art studies rather late. In Israel I had been an elementary school teacher. When I came to Indiana--my BFA is from Purdue--it was my first trip into the big world; it was wonderful. I was attracted to drawing and painting the female figure--not in representational depiction but in summarizing the figure and bringing out its essence. I also knew I wanted to go into three-dimensional work. Ten years later, while living and doing post-graduate studies at Tama Art University in Japan, I found clay and my work started to evolve in the round.

Tova Beck-Friedman   Ossuary with Minoan Goddess Sketchbook
Pulped Paper & Mixed Media
10" x 8.75"

Cycladic figure

Tova Beck-Friedman: My interests in the human form and mythology converged when I saw the Cycladic figures at the British Museum. These small figures, many of which are described as goddesses or fertility figures, speak a universal language of form and aesthetic--a highly sophisticated, minimalist approach.

Cycladic Figure from the Eastern Mediterranean
Circa 2500 BCE

Tove Beck-Friedman sculpture installation Soul

Tova Beck-Friedman: My own sculptures are figuratively inspired, roughly surfaced and austere. This work is informed by images of the Feminine but abstracted and only hinting at parts of the body.

Tova Beck-Friedman   The Soul Selects Her Own Society
Installation at the New Jersey State Museum, 1995
Pulped Paper & Mixed-Media   94" high

Tova Beck-Friedman: While many of my sculptures are made of ferro-cement or fired clay, I also make works using a mixture of recycled pulped paper & glue sometimes mixed with sand, clay or earth. This medium is biodegradable in the outdoors--I designed one piece to do just that--but indoors it in rigid, light and durable.

small modular clay sculptures

Tova Beck-Friedman The scale of my work ranges from very large to quite small pieces. I think of these groupings of upright modular sculptures as a natural wall--like the edge of a woodland.

Tova Beck-Friedman Stelae Bone Trio
Clay Modular Sculptures   12" to 20" high

Tova Beck-Friedman: For these small modular clay sculptures, I build a cube using a cardboard template. From this I construct a module using sheets of clay--you can do a lot of things when the clay is leather-hard. My clay is mixed to my own specifications to get the slightly rough texture I prefer.

fired clay module

Tova Beck-Friedman: The stacked pieces are fired together so that they shrink together--otherwise the modules will not join properly.

Tova Beck-Friedman Holding Palm-size Sculpture Module

Tova Beck-Friedman photo nach

Tova Beck-Friedman: I enjoy using the computer to create digital collages. Since, I'm object-oriented, these works are mounted on a rigid backing and can hang alone as individual images, but I also use them in creating an installation environment. The "Nach" pieces are photo-collages based on a common graffiti on buildings in Israel. This graffiti is a kind of mantra from a religious sect that believes its dissemination speeds the coming of the messiah. Everyone in Israel recognizes it immediately; the image provokes instant irritation.

Tova Beck-Friedman Nach
C Print   42" X 30"

Sculptor Tova Beck-Friedman in her studio

Tova Beck-Friedman: For the catalogue of my solo exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum, Beth Handler wrote, so eloquently, a paragraph that summarizes the conceptual intent of my work:

"Tova Beck-Friedman situates self-perception within a historical framework that moves from the goddesses of ancient myth, to the poems of Emily Dickinson, to mass media. This invocation of the past to understand the present challenges us to recognized certain historical continuities as they pertain to women, and the discontinuities that accompany them." --Beth Handler

Tova Beck-Friedman

View Tova Beck-Friedman sculpture,
formed objects and photo-collage prints offered for sale in
BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery.

Price Range: $325-$8000

Tova Beck-Friedman in represented in public collections including :
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
Be'er Sheva City Hall (Be'er Shiva, Israel)
Fukuoka Town Hall (Gifu-Ken, Japan)
Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ)
Morning View (Gulgong, NSW, Australia)
National Artist Library of the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)
National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)
The Newark Museum (Newark, NJ)
New Jersey State Museum (Trenton, NJ)
Riker Hill Art Park (Livingston, NJ)
Skidmore College (Sarasota Springs, NY)


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Contact Biddington's

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