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TIARA NON GRATA: Emily Bennett Beck and Erin Goedtel

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 2013  6-9PM

Show Runs: September 7-October 19, 2013

Tiara Non Grata, explores the beautiful failures in judgment of a society controlled by the fantasy depictions of “real life” in media. Emily Bennett Beck and Erin Goedtel skillfully create a feeling of disgust hovering underneath the surface of their breathtakingly intricate and even glamorous paintings and mixed media work. This exhibition is both a condemnation and acknowledged lust for the mostly unattainable ideals of beauty perpetuated in society; it is our love/hate relationship with all that glitters.


Emily Bennett Beck’s work explores the iconography of the good girl, or as some reference it the plight of the Mary Jane figure. Her hyper realistic oil paintings depict a distortion of the dewy eyed earnestness of these narrative figures, encapsulating both our connections to the female figure’s vulnerabilities and our desire to revel in her miseries. The works’ narratives concentrate on distinctly American fantasies involving suburban teenage love and lust, as her canvases focus on the moment the camera zooms in to capture a heightened emotional moment, either of joy or anguish. Bennett Beck pushes the images further than they ought to go to extend the pleasure and intensity of the experience. She approaches her work as a true believer, with a “near demonic naivety and sincere devotion”, leaving us to ponder our own personal judgments.

Erin Goedtel’s work approaches Tiara Non Grata as both an expose and cautionary tale. Her work illustrates the byproducts of striving for cultish celebrity ideals, whether it is through her glorious large-scale oil paintings of “Who Wore it Best” or sculptures of the sparkling excrement only the finest of trophy poodles would leave behind. Goedtel balances her work between acknowledging she is “a moth to the light” when feasting on the spectacle of fashion and celebrity with the understanding that excesses must have a measure of restraint. All of her pieces come together to analyze the desperation and egocentric enabling of a culture ruled by the concept that materialistic consumption leads to a better life, creating a setting in which the audience is force to question their own complicity in these manipulations.

Emily Bennett Beck is currently an instructor at the University of Wisconsin Stout and graduated with a MFA in Studio Art Painting from University of Wisconsin Madison in 2007. She has had solo exhibitions at Articule Gallery in Montreal and 734 Gallery in Wisconsin, along with her work being included in several group exhibitions throughout the United States.

Erin Goedtel lives and works in Minneapolis. She is currently the gallery coordinator at Inver Hills Community College and graduated with a MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2011. Goedtel has exhibited throughout the United States including the Peter Miller Gallery in Chicago, La-La Land Gallery and Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, as well as several credits in film work including the Coen Brothers’s A Serious Man and Prince’s video for Cinnamon Girl. She has also received several fellowships and grants in support of her work.

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