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John Beech: The State of Things on Display at Peter Blum Gallery in Chelsea
John Beech, Make, 2010, aluminum, duct-tape, bolts, marker pen, 50 3/4 x 151 x 132 inches. Photo: Courtesy Peter Blum Gallery, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Peter Blum Gallery Chelsea presents the exhibition John Beech- The State of Things now on display at Peter Blum Chelsea, New York. The exhibition focuses on new sculpture and works on paper, which examine the fabrication and manipulation of objects to create abstract works.

Building sculptures out of a variety of components, Beech edits out the objects’ original intention and requires the viewer to engage with its formal properties of shape, form and scale. For example, in Waterbury, 2010 an abandoned Formica kitchen countertop has been repaired with glue and black industrial tape and is leaned against the wall. The original intention of the countertop becomes secondary, as the elements that identify it as a functional object have been removed. Kimmeridge, 2010 is made from printing plates that have been used in the artist’s printmaking practice. The black slabs of plexi-glass are coated with dried printing ink leaving striations of pattern and texture. Placing the sculpture flat on the floor, Beech transcends its humble materials.

The above examples of Beech’s work illustrate the artist’s references to 1960s minimalism, specifically the transformation of ready-made objects. The work of Donald Judd, Carl Andre and John Chamberlain come to mind, but also other twentieth century sculptors are playfully referenced. However, it is Beech’s humor and irreverence in reference to these artists, which gives focus to his own individual work. In Make, 2010, applied stripes of red duct tape and marker offset the sleekness the large beams of silver aluminum and call attention to the artistic process referenced in its title. These ideas are continued in a series of over life size photographs of urban and industrial environments which Beech has edited using silver industrial tape. In several of the works, almost the entire photograph has been covered creating blocks of deleted information and leaving behind only the suggestion of its original image.

John Beech was born in Winchester, England in 1964. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Awards include the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 1999 and the Chinati Foundation Residency in 1998. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including a one-person exhibition at the Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst in Reutlingen, Germany and group shows at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, Illinois; and the Sculpture Center, New York, NY.

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