The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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March 30, 2025 to October 5, 2025 | Project Space, Klein Kenealy Gallery, Ramp, Leir Gallery

Martin Beck: for hours, days, and weeks at a time

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Martin Beck: for hours, days, and weeks at a time explores the methods and means through which environments are captured, compressed, and represented. Using drawing, sound, video, and installation, the exhibition presents a suite of works informed by Beck’s research into environments, a series of eleven vinyl records from the 1970s produced by the Syntonic Research Inc. label that registered the acoustics of nature and meditative sounds with high-fidelity recording technology. Marketed as psychoacoustic experiences with the potential to alter domestic and workspace atmospheres—for listeners to transcend the monotony of bureaucratic space and activity—the records laid the groundwork for an emerging industry catering to the care, efficiency, and control of the self. Beck’s interest in these records is their pioneering role as atmospheric tools for self-optimization within an ever more competitive capitalist setting. Dissecting the series promotional material, Beck highlights and cuts into the claims made for creating spaces of heightened productivity in which one supposedly feels at ease and is ever more functional.

Sculptural and installation-type interventions span the entirety of the Museum’s first floor galleries. His large-scale pencil drawings layer the vocabulary of self-care and self-control onto meticulously rendered immersive fern patches, a suite of wall works fragment images of sunsets and thunderstorms that adorn the records’ covers. Beck’s video, in place (environments), trace the atmospheric shifts made possible by sonic overlays and point to the paradoxes that institutional and private spaces—from spas to galleries to prisons—might have in common.

This exhibition is curated by Eduardo Andres Alfonso, Associate Curator. It will be accompanied by a catalogue, which will include images of the works on view, installation views, and an essay by the curator.

Artist Bio

Martin Beck (b. 1963, Bludenz, Austria) is an artist based in New York and Vienna. His work transposes rigorous research on architecture, design, music, and popular culture into installation, video, photography, writing, sculpture, and drawing. For hours, days, and weeks at a time is Beck’s first solo-museum exhibition in the United States, following the presentation of his sound-and-video work Last Night at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in June 2024.



Top image: Martin Beck, Ferns, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.