Triple Canopy is pleased to announce Untitled (Dome) by Kevin Beasley, four unique works created on the occasion of the magazine’s 2015 benefit, which honors choreographer, writer, and visual artist Ralph Lemon.
Beasley’s practice combines objects, sound, and performance, and creates palpable connections between the body and the prevailing material culture. His sculptural works meld worn items, both found and personal—such as New Era baseball caps, bandanas, and tube socks—with materials like raw cotton picked by hand from Beasley’s family’s land in Virginia and casting materials like polyurethane foam and resin. The presence of instruments and audio equipment in Beasley’s assemblages and installations—whether a reel-to-reel player, vintage Steinway piano, or contact microphone—proposes that identity and culture are malleable and subject to continual intervention and change.
To create Untitled (Dome), Beasley cast polyurethane foam, du-rags, and hair rollers in hard hats, which leave an impression—“a soft, pliable image,” in his words. With this choice of materials, Beasley gestures toward an American psyche that is shaped by the alternating comforts, protections, violence, and cleanliness of working-class life, both spiritual and political.
In 2015, Beasley had solo shows at the High Line, in New York, and the Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut. His work is currently included in “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1. He recently contributed “Songs for M” and, with Fred Moten, “On Poetry and the Turntable” to Passage of a Rumor, Triple Canopy’s series on how and why we talk about the value and potential acquisition of ephemeral works of art, edited with Lemon.
Beasley’s performances have been presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; and the Guggenheim Museum, Queens Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art in New York. From 2013 to 2014, Beasley was a resident at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where his work was included in the group exhibitions “Material Histories” and “When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South” in 2014. In 2015, Beasley’s work was included in “Breath/Breadth: Contemporary American Black Male Identity,” at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, in Lynchburg, Virginia; and “Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim,” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. With Inva Çota, Stephen Decker, and Golnaz Esmaili, Beasley founded ALLGOLD, a collective dedicated to organizing artistic endeavors that necessitate a dedicated space, such as lectures, film screenings, performances, broadcasts, and social gatherings. ALLGOLD was recently in residence at the Print Shop at MoMA PS1.
Special thanks to Casey Kaplan, New York for its generous support.