Walead Beshty: Open Source
456 W 18th Street, New York
April 20 - June 17, 2017
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Walead Beshty. Entitled Open Source, the show features photographs and sculptures that wear their history on the surface, reflecting the artist’s interest in rendering transparent how an artwork is produced. This will be the gallery’s second solo exhibition with the Los Angeles-based artist.
In the Cross-Contaminated Inverted RA4 Contact Prints, the artist continues to explore the complexity of creating photograms made in the darkroom without cameras. The colors, drips and markings on the work’s surface act as an index of the network of tensions within the printing process. In these new works, Beshty has added increasing variables, exposing two sheets simultaneously face-to-face through the processor, resulting in a “Rorschaching” effect.
Also on view are the Office Works; deconstructed office machines skewered on a pole yet still partially working within that constraint, as well as the Sharp LC-90LE657U 90-inch Aquos HD 1080p 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV works–flickering 90” Sharp TVs cut down the middle or drilled through the center with a 12” hole (the size of the standard concrete circular drill bit). In each case, the inner workings that are typically concealed become exposed, allowing the viewer to see what is normally unseen.
The exhibition also features Beshty’s polished copper works. Copper Surrogate (60” x 120” 48 ounce C11000 Copper Alloy, 90o Bend, 60” Bisection/5 Sections: *dates of install/deinstall*, New York, New York) is intended to be treated without gloves when installed or de-installed such that with each handling, the works accrue marks from contact with the art handler’s body. The resultant piece is then a product of the very labor required to display it. The Copper Remnants are the remainders of other copper works the artist has made—their composition derived from the fabricator trying to maximize each sheet. The form of each work is determined by the copper sheet sizes, which are standard to the industry and scaled to fit factory machining. The industrial, corporate or commercial standard is the guide, as is the case with the store bought TVs, used office machines from the gallery, photographic paper from a factory roll. In the artist’s words, “The work fits into these standardized forms, it is a negotiation with these standardizations. In general, I think life is a negotiation with such limits. Improvisation within restriction.”