Laura Bartlett

Becky Beasley

22 Feb - 06 Apr 2014

© Becky Beasley
The green Installation View, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, 2014
The green
22 February - 6 April 2014

Laura Bartlett Gallery is pleased to present The green, our fourth solo exhibition with artist Becky Beasley.

Robert Walser’s relatively long short story, The Walk, is the story of a day in the form of a walk ending at nightfall. Along the way the story unfolds through domestic, urban and country landscapes. It is a kind of straight story (A to B), which nevertheless proceeds by a shaggy dog method (via C). It is a model for the exhibition.

The various photographs in the exhibition – in the form of silver prints, postcards and offset litho prints – were originally taken by Beasley between 1999-2003.1 Taking time to revisit her own archive of unprinted negatives, Beasley’s works imagine an intimate relation to nature which, similarly to Walser’s narrative, passes through domestic (Re-potting (2000, Coldharbour Lane), urban (Auxiliary Flora and Fig Tree (2001, Amwell Street) and rural (Flora, A Life (1999-2001) settings. In each, however, a sense of domesticity emerges as a result of varieties of scale, proximity or distance.

Bearings (2014) is a three metre long, brass cast made from nine twigs collected by the artist’s father from wind-fall after the St. Jude storm. The purposely-tapering fragments screw together like a snooker cue and rotate at one and a half revolutions per minute (1.5 rpm). Inhabiting, by turns, the large bay window area of the gallery, this minimal work quietly takes up extroverted space. Bearings proposes‘The green’ as a dis-oriented journey, which proceeds only by slow, attentive circling. This point is underlined, albeit differently, in the form of the revolving postcard-rack work, Flora, A Life.

The other sculpture, Steppe (Cloche version), is a reprise on an ongoing series of works whose original dimensions are identical. Despite its domesticity, the original black work, Steppe, invokes a hard landscape. Here the transparent green glazing suggests a horticultural device (cloche) used for incubating seedlings and as a protective covering to shield plants, primarily from the undesirable effects of weather, but also from insect damage. Also sculptural, but employing photographs to produce volumes, the two works, Re-potting 2000 and Flora, A Life have take away elements. Visitors are invited to choose a postcard and take a litho-print.

Like a routine daily walk from A to B and back again, the exhibition is a detected cosmos 2 in which new clues can be discovered by attentively recovering the same ground.

Becky Beasley (b.1975 Portsmouth) lives and works in St.Leonards-on-Sea. Recent solo exhibitions include Spring Rain at Spike Island, Bristol and Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, A Slight Nausea at South London Gallery, London, The Man Nobody Could Lift at Leal Rios Foundation, Lisbon and The Outside, Tate Britain, 13 Pieces, 17 Feet, “park Nights”, Serpentine Gallery, London

Selected group exhibitions include Viral Research at Whitechapel Gallery, London, The Imaginary Museum at Kunstverein Munich, Je Suis Un Autre, Kunstverein Freiburg, Structure and Material, Becky Beasley, Karla Black, Claire Barclay, Arts Council (tour), British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet (tour), La Carte d’Après Nature, Curated by Thomas Demand, NMNM Villa Paloma, Monaco.


1 In parallel to the three print types, three film formats are also represented – 35mm (2.4×3.6cm negatives), Holga (a cheap plastic medium format camera with 6x6cm or 6×4.5cm negatives) and a tin Brownie (6x9cm negatives).

2 Notations from Laurence Sterne’s novel, Tristram Shandy

3 Cosmos (Kosmos, 1965) is a novel by the Polish author Witold Gombrowicz. It is a metaphysical thriller which revolves around an absurd investigation.

Tags: Claire Barclay, Becky Beasley, Karla Black, Thomas Demand