new-york

View of “Walead Beshty,” 2014.

Walead Beshty

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

View of “Walead Beshty,” 2014.

For his first solo exhibition at his new New York gallery, Walead Beshty brought back-of-the-house operations to the front, revealing the otherwise invisible systems of exchange that underpin Petzel’s brisk business. By enlisting the gallery’s staff in the production of his show’s finished sculptures, Beshty, in “Performances Under Working Conditions,” focalized the aesthetic economy that surrounded its making. The exhibition borrowed its title from a 1973 work—part video, part photo-novel—by photographer-historian Allan Sekula, in which the artist and two performers banter away while mimicking, in zany pantomime, the activity of working at a pizzeria for $2.50 an hour. Beshty’s exhibition, by contrast, was an impeccable, pristine reliquary that gave only the slightest impression of sweat spent.

Beshty organized Petzel’s previous exhibition, the summer group show “A

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