Artist Kevin Beasley looks at Black experience beyond gallery space

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Kevin Beasley’s “On site” exhibit is on view at Regen Projects, Los Angeles, May 7 to June 25, 2022. Photo by Paul Salveson, courtesy of Regen Projects.

Kevin Beasley’s solo exhibition, “On site,” recently opened at LA’s Regen Projects and runs through June 25. The artist uses ordinary materials and personal artifacts — such as his clothes — to explore the Black experience and how it shapes U.S. history and culture.   

For years, his works have incorporated raw cotton  — sourced from an intergenerational farm in Virginia. "Here he's thinking about his own personal history, but also the histories of the slave trade and cotton manufacturing,” says Lindsay Preston Zappas, founder and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles.

In the “On site” exhibition, a utility pole with LED street lights and wires connects to speakers that play recordings from places that are meaningful to artist Kevin Beasley. Photo by Paul Salveson, courtesy of Regen Projects.

Beasley’s work incorporates sculptures, drawings, installations, and music. 

For example, he installed a utility pole as an art piece, and the pole had streetlights on it and WiFi.  

“He’s definitely thinking beyond the walls of the gallery space. This show included a lot of wall works that do feel very suited for a museum or gallery exhibition, but he's also using sound and installation and these other elements to really point outside of the gallery space and connect to this broader narrative of place,” Zappas says. 

Kevin Beasley’s “On site” exhibition features sculptures, drawings, installations, sounds, music, and performances. Photo by Paul Salveson, courtesy of Regen Projects.