Walead Beshty: Aggregato 25 Sep - 22 Dec 2018 Naples

Walead Beshty: Aggregato
25 Sep - 22 Dec 2018

Thomas Dane Gallery

Via Francesco Crispi, 69


Private view: 22 September, 7-9pm

Exhibition dates: 25 September - 22 December 2018 


Aggregato will be the first solo exhibition in Italy of the Los Angeles based artist Walead Beshty (b. 1976, London, UK).


Beshty's work draws upon, subverts, and redefines traditional categories to create an artistic practice that uses appropriation, chance, juxtaposition, traces of artistic labour, and the very mechanisms of art-making. The works intertwine their production and reception through the interplay of form, color, and image, and their deceptively simple yet conceptually dense means. 


The title of the exhibition belies its compound nature, composed as a survey of key works from the last ten years of the artists' oeuvre. It also reflects both conceptually and literally the core elements of Beshty's practice itself, which applies self-reflexive methods of combination and accumulation, often employing and re-employing his own output and working methods to make artworks from fragments, parts, and residues.


In a nod to the location and environment of its presentation,Aggregatosurveys the layers and strata of Beshty's work in an archival, even archaeological way, providing a new context to read, historicise and evaluate his practice. 


In the same way that Beshty's work is often self-referential and self-prophesizing, Aggregatofunctions as a survey of works, an exhibition of exhibitions. The display will bring together new and existing sculptures, photographs and collages made during the time the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery have worked together - at biennials, art fairs, museums and the gallery itself. The exhibitionwill present some of his most iconic works such as large-scale photograms, 'Copper Surrogates', 'Selected Works' composites, and 'Fedex boxes'. Also on view are ceramics produced while working at Cerámico Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico, made from the discarded byproducts of the studio's past productions, which featured in the artists presentation at All the World's Futures, the 56thInternational Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2015. 


Displayed on tables in the central hall of the exhibition will be seven volumes of the book-prologue to his 2014 commission for The Curve, at the Barbican Centre, London, A Partial Disassembling of an Invention without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in which the Pulleys and Cogwheels are Lying around at Random All over the Workbench. The books - in their Prologue and Opus volumes - comprise bound pages printed recto and verso with each of the almost 10,000 cyanotypes and photograms produced for the exhibition, which were pinned directly to the wall of The Curve. By utilising objects from the artist's studio, Prologue creates an archival record of Beshty's work space as well as an indexation and reproduction of all the tools and artefacts used for its own making. Comprising a selection of 1230 of these cyanotypes, the newly completed Prologue is shown for the first time, here in Naples.


Beshty is also a renowned writer and curator. In October this year an expanded version of his curated exhibition Picture Industry: a provisional history of the Technical Image 1844-2018, presented at CCS Bard last year, will be travelling back to LUMA Foundation in Arles. The accompanying publication, edited by Beshty, serves as an extensive anthology of important historical and theoretical texts, giving an alternative approach to questions associated with photographic representation.


Selected solo exhibitions include Disponibles, Travesîa Cuatro, Guadalajara, Mexico (2015); A Partial Disassembling of an Invention without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in which the Pulleys and Cogwheels are Lying around at Random All over the Workbench, The Curve at the Barbican Centre, London, England (2014); Securities and Exchanges, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2011); A Diagram of Forces, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden / Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain (2011); and Legibility on Color Backgrounds, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2009). His work was included in the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015); the Tate Triennial (2009); and Whitney Biennial (2008). Beshty has organised exhibitions including Picture Industry, Hessel Museum, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2017); Picture Industry, LUMA Arles, Arles, France (2016); On the Matter of Abstraction (figs. A & B): Parallel Exhibitions of Post-War Non-Figurative Art from the Collection, with Christopher Bedford, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (2013); and The Gold Standard, with Bob Nickas, at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (2006). 


Beshty's work is featured in numerous museum collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Tate, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 


Recent publications include 33 Texts: 93,614 Words: 581,035 Characters, Selected Writings (2003-2015) (JRP|Ringier, 2016); Industrial Portraits: Volume One, 2008-2012 (JRP|Ringier, 2017); Industrial Portraits: Volume Two, 2012-2017 (JRP|Ringier, 2018); and Picture Industry: A Provisional History of the Technical Image (1844-2017) (JRP|Ringier, 2018). 


For exhibitions enquiries please contact Federica Sheehan: federica@thomasdanegallery.com 


Gallery Hours:

Tuesday to Friday 11am-1:30pm and 2:30pm-7pm

Saturday 12pm-7pm

or by appointment