Beth Naumann Makes Minimalist Wall Sculptures That Embrace Simplicity
Colorado sculptor Beth Naumann earned a degree in interior architecture and product design from Kansas State University. She learned to design furniture in Germany and studied weaving and adobe construction in Peru. When Beth was growing up in St. Louis, the city's extensive brickwork spurred an interest in craft, architecture, and historical artifacts. Her minimalist wall sculptures, created from brass and bent by hand, emphasize simplicity of form while showcasing traditional techniques.
Beth has exhibited solo in San Francisco and Colorado. The founder of two collaborative art and design spaces, she has created work for commercial and private collections. Her minimalist method of looping brass rods by hand is inspired by the artist’s formative years in a design-rich urban environment. To Beth, doorways and pedestals symbolize “universal and timeless notions of support, transition, passage of time, and the things we hold dear.” She aims to forge personal connections between art and craft that resonate with the viewer while referencing historic architectural elements.
“My work stands up for craft as an art form that has the ability to elicit an emotional reaction and hit on a deep feeling of oneness with others, or our past and future,” Beth tells NOT REAL ART. “It rejects division and arguments of ‘art’ being greater than ‘craft,’ as well as the notion that craft artists are less-than. There is so much to be learned from craft as an art form, from our histories, to a myriad of cultures, to bodies, to mindfulness and spirituality. This idea hopefully makes room for artists of all types to create in the way that creativity best moves through them, rather than trying to fit their work into a predetermined set of descriptors that add up to ‘art.’ We will always benefit from expanding these definitions, and uncover more and more unique work.”
Beth’s metal tapestries have a subtle elegance that plays with the tension between heavy- and featherweight objects. Her pedestal forms have a 3D rendering effect, while “Moon Banner” and “Rain Cloud” conjure planetary and weather-related visions with their divining rod details. As Beth blurs the line between contemporary art and craft, her melding of historical influences with a minimalist aesthetic makes a distinctive statement linking the present with the past.
“My work stands up for craft as an art form that has the ability to elicit an emotional reaction and hit on a deep feeling of oneness with others.” — Beth Naumann
Beth Naumann: Website | Instagram
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
Our Artist of the Day series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100s of grant applications we receive. The NOT REAL ART grant is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists. Find out more about our grant program here.