For The Art Show 2020, on view from February 27 to March 1 at the Park Avenue Armory, Petzel Gallery is pleased to present a solo presentation of work by Los Angeles-based visual artist and theorist Walead Beshty, who will show a mirrored floor installation, alongside a series of multi-sided photograms.
Beshty first became known in the mid-2000s for his large-scale photograms. Produced by folding and processing sheets of light-sensitive color photographic paper, these seemingly abstract images tell the story of their own making. While in total darkness, the paper is folded into basic three-dimensional forms with anywhere from three to six sides, and exposed using a standard color photographic enlarger. The folding of the paper, evidenced by the creases and marks left behind, results in the arrangements of forms and color on the surface of the paper.
Beshty’s most recent work incorporates the traces of bodies and labor on the surface of artworks, always created using a fixed set of predetermined constraints. Following these principles, Beshty will also cover the Park Avenue Armory’s floor inside the booth with a wall to wall expanse of mirrored glass. The work is then “produced” by the movements of people across its surface and does not constitute a finished artwork until it has been walked on during the course of an exhibition. As the space is “used” by the gallery staff and fair visitors, the floor begins to crack under the weight of the bodies, altering the image cast within it, while also indexing the movement of a “public” through the space on its surface. Secondary effects also take place, such as the audible cracking of the glass, the casting of reflections that change with the time of day, as well as a progressive transformation of light effects as the mirror is repeatedly walked upon. Because of these variables, the work is never the same from moment to moment - contingent on its architectural surroundings it is being viewed in, and the part of the world in which the exhibition space is located. In essence, the work is made by being seen, and cannot exist without an audience.
Walead Beshty (b. London, UK, 1976) is a multi-disciplinary artist who has gained international attention for his conceptual practice that concerns itself with the photographic image and its multitudinous forms of circulation. He studied at Bard College and received his Masters in Fine Art from Yale University in 2002. He has held academic positions at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita, CA; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; and Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, where he was associate professor from 2007–2016.
The artist has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including: a mid-career survey currently on view at Kunst Museum Winterthur through April 19, 2020 as well as; MAMCO Genève, Geneva, Switzerland (2019); Barbian Centre, London (2014); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden (2011); Ullens Center, Beijing (2011); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2009); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2006); and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2004). He has works in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL MAMCO, Geneva; and the Tate, London among others.
Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011 and on the parlor and third floors of 35 East 67th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, New York. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM–6:00 PM. For press inquires, please contact Ricky Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (212) 680-9467.