Art In America

Kevin Beasley

at Casey Kaplan,
121 West 27th Street

Kevin Beasley’s second exhibition at Casey Kaplan, “Sport/Utility,” models a psychic landscape of black masculinity that spans domestic life and outdoor athleticism, upward mobility and stagnant decay. The first work you encounter, Untitled (petrified), is a lumpy column that juts from the wall, made of two football helmets caked with greenish brown resin and foam. A similarly tarnished bag of golf clubs stands nearby. A long gallery, evoking a driveway or a street, contains the show’s titular sculpture, a crushed 2008 Cadillac Escalade; the black glass border of the back windows has become a glittering obsidian mosaic. The rear gallery is a phantom living room that mingles attributes of fathers and sons: neckties float limply in wall sculptures, and a resin-crusted pair of Adidas Yeezy sneakers sits sadly on an infant’s booster seat. Three panels of the ridged foam used to insulate sound installations are covered with NBA jerseys. Air Conditioner (Tempo), 2017, sits in an opening cut through the gallery’s central wall, uniting two spaces: the control panel faces the back room and its suburban effects, while the exhaust overlooks the athletic equipment in the gallery’s front. The piece circulates the noise of blowing air and audio snippets from the evening news about sports and political protest. The porous passage of sound evokes an inner life troubled by social realities, a public self-presentation haunted by personal trauma. —Brian Droitcour

 

Pictured: Kevin Beasley: Sport/Utility, 2017, stripped and crushed 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 65½ by 93 by 203 inches. Courtesy Casey Kaplan, New York. Photo Jean Vong.

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