Critics’ Picks

View of “Gold Diamond Park,” 2014.

New York

Gabriele Beveridge

Elizabeth Dee Gallery
2033/2037 Fifth Avenue
November 7–December 20, 2014

It’s said that it takes two decades for cultural nostalgia to solidify; after this time, past trends can revive as ironic countercurrents to the present fashions. In “Gold Diamond Park,” Gabriele Beveridge’s debut solo exhibition in New York, the artist juxtaposes sculptural elements to self-consciously question the criteria for trading and exhibiting ideals of beauty. Her work simultaneously evaluates the processes by which aesthetics fade out and return as cultural currency.

Exemplary is a series of seven tableaux of perforated metal panels that the artist took from the ceiling of a library in East London, where she lives and works. Their time-worn surfaces appear as aloof, wall-fixed minimalist grids encased in voguish iPhone 5–style lime, lemon, and pale-blue borders. Framed differently, these offhand historical references take on the look of what is currently salable, implicating the markets of high and low culture in a mutual reprocessing.

In Gold Diamond Park [Silver] (all works 2014), plastic hoops hang like gymnastic rings above a mannequin holding a feather to a crystal ball. Here, divination reflects uncertainties surrounding investments of the present: How will this artist, this body of work, the weight of this idea measure up in the future? A clue: No Questions exhibits a sun-bleached beauty advertisement and tie-dyed T-shirt on shop-display fittings behind a pane of glass. Like the faded affiche’s promise of an ideal look, this psychedelic garment––an accoutrement of 1970s counterculture cool, later resuscitated as a ’90s fad––is here preserved as acquirable high art. Wait long enough, and even forgotten kitsch could one day be worth its weight in gold.