Monday, 5 January 2015

Walead Beshty at the Barbican

Hadn't been to the Barbican for a while, so I made the trip to see this intriguing installation by artist Walead Beshty, or to give it its proper title - A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All over the Workbench. Phew! A bit of a mouthful, but a really engaging show of no less than 12,000 cyanotype prints taken of objects and artistic detritus lying around his studios in LA and London from 2013 to 2014.

They are created on porous surfaces - anything from newspapers to cigarette packaging, to paper plates and blocks of wood, all displayed chronologically along the curved wall space of The Curve gallery.

There is so much to catch the eye it is almost overwhelming, but I enjoyed scrutinising the individual prints and loved the ethereal, ghostly outlines and shapes of the objects created by the cyanotype print process.

Seen as a whole the work is pretty impressive and overwhelming in its impact. I loved the various tones and hues of blue. It was like a large indigo denim patchwork, and very reminiscent of the Japanese indigo/denim Boro patchworks I wrote about earlier last year.