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Beate Wheeler
Early Life

Born April 28, 1932 in Rotibor Germany, Beate fled Nazi Germany with her family arriving at Ellis Island on December 29, 1938. From 1938-1945, she attended Manumit, an "experimental" Christian socialist boarding school in Pawling, New York. Beate was one of roughly 25 Jewish refugee children hosted by Manumit during WWII under the auspices of the Progressive Schools' Committee for Refugee Children. (see Time magazine, 3/27/39)

Early education, influences and work

In 1954, after earning a BFA from Syracuse, she enrolled at Berkeley and earned her MFA studying under the abstract expressionist Milton Resnick.

In 1957, she moved from California to New York’s East Village with Mark di Suvero, the renowned abstract expressionist sculptor and painter (and a 2010 National Medal of Arts recipient). When interviewed by Joan Simon for Art In America (November, 2005), Mark credited Beate with teaching him “more about drawing than any drawing class I ever had.

From 1958 – 1960, Beate, along with Mark di Suvero and 45 other artists that included Robert Beauchamp, Elaine de Kooning, and Patricia Passlof formed the March Gallery, one of eight galleries that were known collectively as the 10th Street Gallery Cooperative.

In a review of her 1963 show at the Feiner Gallery, ArtNews called her canvases "marvelously colored" and "constantly expanding" concluding the review with an encapsulation of the writer's experience as follows: "Shapes sink and rise like drum beats leaving other spots in a dead space long enough to vibrate, and then the relationship moves on catching other lights from other places. All of this magic is conjured with saturated light." (May 1963) 


The Middle Years

In 1970, Beate and family were among the first generation of artists to move into Westbeth Artist Housing. A complex of 13 buildings that were formerly the site of Bell Laboratories, Westbeth was transformed into 384 live-work spaces for artists of all disciplines blended with performance and exhibition spaces.

Beate continued to paint and to draw while, sometimes stubbornly, refusing to promote her work. She famously refunded the proceeds from the sale of one of her paintings after realizing that she wasn’t ready “to let the painting go.”

Nevertheless, in 1982, ARTnews featured her and her work in their 80th Anniversary publication as an “Artists’ Artist” praising her “terrific drawing sense” and her “feeling for color.” (ArtNews, Nov 1982)

In addition to artists, discerning collectors including Nelson A. Rockefeller have also made it a point to include her work in their collections.

Family Life

Beate was married to Spencer Holst, the author and painter, until his passing in 2001. Together, they had one son, Sebastian, and two grandchildren. Spencer Robert and Adriana Beate.

The Latter Years

Parkinson's disease, over the course of 15 years, cruelly stole her motor skills, her eyesight, and, ultimately, her life.

Beate Wheeler Holst passed away on May 14, 2017 leaving a body of work that spans over half of a century.

This site is dedicated to bringing Beate Wheeler some of the recognition she richly deserved but never had an interest in cultivating.

Shows and publications

2019 Exhibit         Jan - Feb    David Richard Gallery

1995 Exhibit         May            Westbeth Gallery

1993 Publication  The Zebra  Storyteller: Collected Stories of Spencer Holst

1993 Exhibit         November  Westbeth Gallery      80 Ink Drawings

1988 Exhibit         December   Downing Street Gallery, 15 Downing St. Small Works

1987 Exhibit         December   Downing Street Gallery   New Works

1986 Exhibit         December   Downing Street Gallery   Small Works

1985 Exhibit         May             Downing Street Gallery   New Works

1984 Exhibit         December   Downing Street Gallery   Small Works

1983 Exhibit         December   Westbeth Gallery             Christmas Show

1982 Exhibit         November   Color reproduction in ArtNews as part of Grace        

                                                 Glueck's article, "The Artists' Artists."

1982 Publication  Cover drawing, All Soul’s Sermon Series, (NYC) September issue

1980 Publication  Conversations, Journal of religious concern 4 Drawings

1980 Publication  16 Drawings and Something to read to someone by

                             Beate Wheeler & Spencer Holst/Station Hill Press

1980 Exhibit         November   Westbeth Gallery

1980 Exhibit         July             Gallery of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM

1975 Exhibit         November   Westbeth Gallery

1972 Exhibit         February      Westbeth Gallery

1971 Publication  Cover drawing for The Cymric Spell, poetry by

                             M. Harris /Aesopus Press, NYC

1969 Exhibit         December   Lyndhurst National Trust, Tarrytown, NY (110 oils)

1967 Exhibit         April             Lipchitz Art Festival, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

1966 Publication 1 drawing, Win (NYC) August issue

1966 Publication 2 drawings, El Como Emplumado (Mexico City) Jan. Issue

1965 Publication 1 drawing, El Como Emplumado September Issue

1965 Publication (a book) Drawings by Beate Wheeler/Hawkswell Press

1963 Exhibit         September   Feiner Gallery, 43 5th Avenue, NYC 4-man show

1962 Exhibit         April             Feiner Gallery

1962 Exhibit         Group shows at Globe Gallery, 10th Street, NYC

1960 Publication 13 Essays and 16 Drawings by Spencer Holst and Beate Wheeler

1960 Exhibit         May              Stuttman Gallery, 13 E. 75th St., NYC

                                                 160 artists Spanish Refuge Benefit

1959 Exhibit         June             Nonagon Gallery, 2nd Ave.

1958 Exhibit         November    National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NYC

1958 Exhibit         October        March Gallery, 95 E 10th St., NYC 23 artists

1958 Exhibit         May              Broadway Congregational Church, W 56th St., NYC

1958 Exhibit         January        March Gallery New Members Show

1957 Exhibit         September   San Francisco Annual Exhibition (Juried)

Beate painting at Manumit
ArtNews Beate Wheeler
Beate Wheeler Mark di Suvero giving flowers
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