Beatrice Modisett (’07) Opens New Show

May 8, 2024

Montserrat alumna Beatrice Modisett has a new exhibition up at Analog Diary in the Hudson Valley. Into a Kind of Quietness exhibits recent works by Modisett whose practice is guided by an abiding interest in the inherent tension, space, and overlap between generative and destructive forces; through this lens, Modisett explores themes relating to place, memory, systems, and material.

How a Place Comes to Be, Beatrice Modisett 2024, Charcoal and pigment on grey toned paper, pine, coffee, iron acetate, beeswax 

Beatrice Modisett’s process is driven by experience and exposure – specifically amid nature, on her heavily wooded, off-the-grid property in Summit, NY, where she spends periods of time sleeping outside, observing, exploring, and otherwise entangling herself with the place while gathering materials that ultimately comprise her work. Modisett’s engagement with her chosen media directly reflects and sustains the overarching concerns through which she approaches art making: that is, that natural forces of destruction – e.g. fire, wind, and water – can simultaneously be means of creation.  

In Modisett’s works, charcoal, derived of spent wood from camp fires in Summit, hovers and jumps across sheets of cold press, gray toned paper, building into iterative images that evoke clouds, archways, tents, receding paths, whirlwinds, nests, and tumbling stones. Modisett builds up and draws down these surfaces in an intuitive orchestration, using her hands and fingers in collaboration with the charcoal itself to develop planar activity. The works’ frames, wrought by Modisett from charred and hand-stained wood, also embody her haptic approach. Just as wind and water extract, from tree to earth, the branches that are collected and assembled into the most dimensional frames here, the finely-tuned process involved in hand-staining the others with natural materials exemplifies a chemical transformation; throughout, Modisett’s destruction-as-creation proposition is reflected upon. That the artist’s hand is omnipresent is no coincidence; rather, Modisett’s strategies deliberately reinforce the truth that we, humans, are not distinct from but rather are innately connected to our environments.

Beatrice Modisett lives and works in Queens, NY and Summit, NY. Modisett earned a B.F.A. from Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, MA) in 2007 and an M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) in 2016. Solo exhibitions of Modisett’s work have taken place at Montserrat College of Art (2020); Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College (Lynchburg, VA – 2020); and Eastern Connecticut State University (Willimantic, CT – 2019), among others. Recent group exhibitions include Satellite and Sediment, Feigenbaum Center for Visual Art, Union College (Schenectady, NY – 2023); Land, Mark, Rocky Neck Art Colony (Gloucester, MA – 2022); Transatlantico, Mana Contemporary (Jersey City, NJ – 2020); Implied Body, Assembly Room, (New York, NY – 2019); and In the Deep Silence of Midnight, NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY – 2019). Modisett was awarded a Visual Artist grant by Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation in 2019, and is the recipient of several fellowships, including Wave Hill Winter Workspace Fellowship (2020) and partial fellowships at The Hambidge Center for Arts and Science, Rabun Gap, GA (2010) and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT (2009); and has been awarded residencies at Palazzo Monti, Brescia, IT (2019) and Samband Íslenskra Myndlistarmanna, Reyjkavík, IS (2018).

Beatrice Modisett: Into a Kind of Quietness is on view May 18–June 16, 2024 at Analog Diary, 1154 North Avenue, Beacon, NY. Gallery hours are Friday–Sunday 12–6pm and by appointment. An opening reception will take place May 18 from 4–6pm. For further information, please reach Analog Diary at [email protected].

Like a Pond Without Ripples (A Delicate Experience of Warmth) 2024 Charcoal on grey toned paper, pine, iron acetate, beeswax

(Featured Image: How a Place Comes to Be, III 2024 Charcoal and pigment on grey toned paper, pine, coffee, iron acetate, charcoal powder, linseed oil)