Becky Beasley:Three Notable American Novellas

23 Nov 2007 – 19 Jan 2008

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Laura Bartlett Gallery

London, United Kingdom

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Three Notable American Novellas


Beasley's work moves between sculpture and photography. Its subject matter is largely composed of autobiographical recollections mediated through literary references. Aesthetically it engages in a questioning of the relations between hand made objects and their (re-) presentation as photographic objects. Her practice is at times oneiric, but bears equal references to surrealism as to minimalism. Beasley's work deals with death and anxiety, using elements from the visual and the literary realms to allow her to meditate on issues of personal fate and destiny.

Despite the literary titling, Three Notable American Novellas is dealing with images, albeit through both photographs and objects. Undisclosed within the exhibition, the accompanying catalogue, American Letter, identifies three short American fictions: William Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying', Herman Melville's 'Bartleby the Scrivener and Truman Capote's 'Music for Chameleons'. What links these three for Beasley are a series of potentially wild, literary objects or figures that bear heavily and intensely on space, both architecturally and mentally.

Recently described by Alessio Ascari as 'mental objects', the conceptual blueprints for Beasley's recent sculptures, her 'woodworks', stem from a combination of literary references (fictions) and existing domestic or bodily dimensions. An odd kind of carpentry ensues.

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