Shout Magazine

Mark Kostabi on Beatrice Wood

I’ve read dozens of articles about the late, great Beatrice Wood and they all basically say the same thing; they drop the same historical names and present the same amusing anecdotes. This article will rehash nothing. All of this is new material.

When I visited the amazing Beatrice Wood about a year and a half ago, she was 104 years old. My friends and I brought her chocolates, which we all ate together. She especially liked the ones with caramel in them. I like any chocolate as long as it’s dark. A recent scientific study claims that eating chocolate lengthens your life span.

Beatrice lived to be 105. Beatrice also didn’t smoke or drink and was a vegetarian. Same here. Meeting her was an inspiration. It was thrilling to watch her carefully study and comment on my paintings in the catalog I brought her. Later, I sent her a copy of my huge book Kostabi: The Early Years. She sent me a thank you letter, which said:

Dear Mark,

I have not yet overcome my interest in reading Kostabi: The Early Years…I am taken aback by the endless invention of forms that you have created but museums can better express (this) in words…The book is just gorgeous in design. I am breathless at the great variation of your work. I may stay awake nights now looking at your endless compositions.

I much appreciate having your books and knowing that they will be inspiration for others when they find them in my library. I would like to have a peek into your mind and see how you have so many compositions exploding in it.

I don’t know how to close, so I’ll just end with


It’s no wonder that so many people loved her. If you value freedom and modern art, I guarantee that seeing her show at Achim Moeller Fine Art will be a very stimulating and educational art historical experience. See the gallery video about the artist if you don’t know all of the many reasons why she’s famous.

April 1999