Night (1947-2015)

Guest Curated by Jordan Stein

Kevin Beasley, Arm, 2014
May 1 – August 31, 2015

Kevin Beasley’s Arm, made from an old, black work shirt stuffed with Polyurethane and resin, marks the penultimate installment of Night (1947–2015). Bodily, like a branch, it stretches across the table. Beasley fashions sculpture from personal effects, found materials, and chemical compounds, often chopping and conjoining old forms to make new ones. Arm, though, emerged fully formed in the artist’s studio. How else to explain its peculiar coherence—more complete than amputated, not seeking a body but a witness? Beasley studied art in Detroit and New Haven, postindustrial contexts that lend the work its Now What? character and patent proof of its labor, all scars and rot and fill. Blocking a clear view across the house, Arm activates personal and political concerns about visual media, privileged perspectives, and restraint. “I wanted to remove all traces of mobility,” notes Beasley. Arm draped the wall of the artist’s studio when first completed, but it wasn’t quite the right arrangement, according to Beasley. Then it moved to the floor; closer, but still no good. “If I could just float it in space,” said Beasley, “that would be perfect.” He’s right. Here on the glass table, it hangs.