Critics’ Picks

Becky Beasley, Given (Cock & Clam), 2015, pearwood, MDF, paint, steel, motor, 23 1/2 x 12 x 73".

Becky Beasley, Given (Cock & Clam), 2015, pearwood, MDF, paint, steel, motor, 23 1/2 x 12 x 73".


Becky Beasley

Galerija Škuc
Stari Trg 21
August 28–September 27, 2015

“Sleep is when you grow” offers a meditation on death and regeneration, tied to the artist’s recent experience of motherhood. With lancing exactitude, Becky Beasley uses evocative materials such as walnut, pear, and acacia wood, and black glass to mingle familiarity and estrangement, planting echoes of forms throughout the exhibition.

This disorientation is embodied in Bearings IV, 2014, a suspended bronze cast of six twigs forged into one long stick that spins steadily in the central gallery, a compass arrow at a loss. In a side gallery, Shelves for My Parents (A Shelf for My Mother, a Shelf for My Father), 2010, builds two low-slung shelves at the height- and shoulder-width of the artist’s parents, injecting the anonymous, Ikea-like quality of the structures with a deeply personal relevance. Similarly, Flora, a Life, 2013, presents a series of postcards showing plants whose botanical histories are printed on the back. Each species name is appended with a street address in parentheses, the only hint at the artist’s relationship to the images. In another room, Fig Tree (2001) (Amwell Street), 2014, is blown up to a large portrait format. Across the wall, the same image is fractured into nine sections and paired with text for Days of Life, 2015, a handpainted book tracing the miscarriage of one child and the birth of another. The motif of regeneration reappears in A Man Restored a Broken Work, 2015. Modeled after Robert Bresson’s 1956 film A Man Escaped, Beasley’s work follows the courtship-like rituals of restoration of Build, Night, a 2012 sculpture damaged during transit.. The restored work, now dated 2015, sits in the gallery window, a box of nothing whose reflective black-glass depths seem to contain everything.