Los Angeles–based artist Walead Beshty (born 1976) has long maintained an active writing career alongside his work in the visual arts. Writing on a variety of media, including essays on cinema, painting, sculpture, and photography. In addition, he has authored many monographic texts on artists such as Jay DeFeo, Sharon Lockhart, Kelley Walker, Luisa Lambri, Annette Kelm, and Michael Asher, among others. This book gathers together a selection of these essays, partially reedited, and often hard to find, as they were published as much in books as in various magazines. Together these texts appear as a parallel production to Beshty's own artistic practice: they reflect on the conditions of realization and circulation of images, they undermine essentialist distinctions of mediums, abstraction, and figuration, as well as proposing a true aesthetic of reception for the works examined. As the artist puts it, one of his ambitions might be to reveal that, "Art itself has the potential to democratize aesthetics and reimagine aesthetic production as communal, available, and nonhierarchical. I like the idea of demystifying aesthetics by communicating that we can all make aesthetic objects; it is not simply for those with capital or power."
This book, the latest in JRP|Ringier’s Positions series copublished with Les presses du réel, gathers together a selection of these essays, often hard to find, in partially reedited forms.
Edited by Lionel Bovier. Introduction by George Baker
Published by JRP|Ringier & Les presses du réel
© 2016 Walead Beshty, JRP|Ringier