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27 Jul 2018

Kevin Beasley

Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Reviewed by John Pyper

Kevin Beasley has built a baroque group of sculptural, painterly works primarily made from stiffened fabrics. The head coverings hold no person inside and stand out from the walls like flying buttresses. Beasley's art speaks to the void found in each sculpture. The work manifests as architectonic space rather than outfits. One is left asking, "How do we move through these buildings?"

Through their engagement with bodily emptiness, they argue against the neutrality or the whiteness of the cube. The institution's participation completes these works, as it is only in the space with guards and alarms, where we are held distant from these once-personal outfits, that we can encounter solid, aesthetic masses instead of what would be an unknowable other's wardrobe. It is in a space where context is withheld that these works can really dig into what sculpture can do formally and how the institution can assist in producing meaning.

Exhibition Kevin Beasley link
Start date 09 May 2018
End date 26 Aug 2018
Presenter Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston link
Venue 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, USA map
Image Kevin Beasley, Untitled (11), 2015, altered New Era fitted hats, house dresses, t-shirts, bandanas, studio debris, pillow cases, resin, down feathers, raw cotton, and television mount, 94 x 77 x 28 inches, courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York, photo by Jean Vong, © Kevin Beasley

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