July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 Walead Beshty

by A. Moret / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Scott Council

Walead Beshty The conceptual explorations of this London-born artist find fertile ground in Los Angeles. Take, for example, Passages, Beshty’s recent installation at LAXART, which required visitors to walk on a tempered mirrored surface laid throughout the gallery. A single step or shift in weight caused the glass to splinter beneath the thin laminate coating. Such intricate shattering reflects the aggressively inquisitive artist’s sensibilities— his work moves in unpredictable directions across many disciplines, including photography, sculpture and writing.

Beshty studied at Bard College and the Yale University School of Art before moving west. In 2004, when he was just two years out of college, his first solo exhibition debuted in New York, and he quickly captured the attention of the international art world with his probing meditations on political and social conditions. A 2005 solo exhibition at China Art Objects Galleries and a 2006 installation at the Hammer Museum followed. Beshty’s presence in the city remains a boon not only for his students at Art Center College of Design but for the entire art community.

Left: 'Popular Mechanics' at Wallspace, New York, 2009; right: 'Industrial Pictures' at Gal. Rudolphe Janssen, Brussels, 2008