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Exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty opens at Regen Projects
Installation view of Walead Beshty Selected Bodies of Work at Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Regen Projects presents Selected Bodies of Work, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty. The show features a group of interrelated photographs, sculptures, ceramics, and collages that address bodies and labor as they are rendered visible in or on the art object. This is the artist’s second solo presentation at the gallery.

On display are photograms made in the darkroom through a fixed set of predetermined constraints. Beshty’s RA4 Contact Prints are produced on the now aging, and quickly deteriorating color processor on which he created his previous non-figurative color photographic works. Serrated color bands stripe their surfaces, an imprint of the processor’s interior that results from its frequent jamming and misalignment, acting as indexes of the machine’s near failure. In another series of photographic works, the Cross-Contaminated RA4 Contact Prints, traces of hands and their contact with the surface of the photograph during exposure are visible, emphasizing the often invisible forces of labor inherent in the production of the photograms. Furthering some of the more visceral aspects of mechanical breakdown are the deconstructed computers, printers, projectors, and scanners which struggle to perform their intended functions while skewered on aluminum rods.

The exhibition features polished sculptures in six different configurations produced from 10 x 5 foot standard industrial sheets of copper folded in half. During their installation and de-installation, marks from the hands of installers accrue on their surfaces according to the sculpture’s shape, scale, and mass. In another expression of how art works are handled, a series of photographs depict the hands of studio assistants, curators, and gallerists interacting with works of art at various stages of their production. The Aluminum Remnant works, each a series of irregular geometric forms, are the polished remains of the copper sculptures’ inner armatures.

Also on view are ceramics produced by the artist while working at Cerámico Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico. These sculptures are made from the discarded byproducts of Cerámico Suro’s varied past productions, which include both high-end ceramic ware and artist’s editions. While producing these works, Beshty collected three daily tabloids (Express Guadalajara, La Prensa Jalisco, and Metro) that feature sensationalist stories about violent crime, car crashes, and sports, peppered with pinups and ads for escort services. Their contents depict the traffic, exchange, and monetization of human bodies.

Beshty’s work draws upon, subverts, and redefines traditional artistic categories to create an artistic practice built upon material qualities of the aesthetic object and its often contradictory uses. His work disrupts conventions, introduces the presence of chance, welcomes varied external factors, and moves beyond the traditional confines of medium to create a rigorous and diverse artistic practice.

Walead Beshty (b. 1976, London, UK) is an artist and writer working in Los Angeles, and Associate Professor in the Graduate Art Department of Art Center College of Design. Recent solo exhibitions include, Fair Use at The Power Station, Dallas (2013); Securities and Exchanges at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011); and A Diagram of Forces at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden / Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2011); among many others. His work will be the focus of a solo exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London in fall of 2014.

Beshty’s work is held in permanent 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; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.

Monographs on his work include Walead Beshty: Selected Correspondences 2001 2010 (Damiani Editore, 2010) and Walead Beshty: Natural Histories (JRP/Ringier, 2011). Current publications include a second expanded edition of Walead Beshty: Natural Histories; a forthcoming anthology co-edited with Jason E. Smith, Post-Fordist Aesthetics; and an anthology of Beshty's collected writings (all JRP/Ringier, 2014).

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