Casey Kaplan

Artist News

Kevin Beasley
Untitled, 2014

Kevin Beasley in New York Times

The Stuff of Life Urgently Altered

Holland Cotter

“The basic language in Kevin Beasley’s sculpture is body language, or the compressed traces of it. Several pieces in the show are made in part from clothing worn by the artist or someone he knows. An urn-shape sculpture from 2013 incorporates a floral-patterned nightgown of a kind favored by his grandmother. A 2014 wall hanging consists of a shag rug encrusted with studio debris, sealed in clear resin and festooned with soft-sculpture globes made from bunched-up underwear.

As was the case with some of those artists, Mr. Beasley’s output often has an aural dimension in the form of live or taped music. In 2012, he filled the Museum of Modern Art’s atrium with an earsplitting, bone-rattling multitrack soundscape composed from the layered voices of dead rappers like Eazy-E, Guru and Biggie Smalls. Sound doesn’t figure in the Studio Museum work, at least that I could detect, but layering does. So does a sense of vitality generated by objects that look both ruined and precious, pulled raw from the gutter but tenderly detailed, as if they’d been touched a lot, which they have.”