Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review : Walead Beshty at the Barbican – 9 Oct 2014 to 8 Feb 2015

Exhibition Review : Walead Beshty at the Barbican – 9 Oct 2014 to 8 Feb 2015


Walead Beshty – 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.

The Curve, Barbican Centre, 9 October 2014 – 8 February 2015 ,Admission Free

The Barbican has unveiled its commission from the London born, Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty. Using a 90-metre long wall of the Curve,  Beshty has created a panorama effect using over 12,000 cyanotype prints. The cyanotype was a very early photographic process invented by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842, Beshty took objects from his studio and placed them on a porous surface (such as discarded paper or cardboard) that has been coated with UV-sensitive material and exposed directly to sunlight, producing the object’s silhouette against a cyan blue background.

The work was began in 2013 in LA and was completed in London where he used local materials during a month long stay. The installation follow this chronological order so acts as a visual timeline of its creation.


The installation’s large scale offers a panoramic effect that sweeps along the wall, but closer inspection offers insight into the cyantype process which creates a ghostly image of the object. Many of the objects are recognisable but some seem to have transmuted into a wide range of shapes.

The work’s collage effect offers an intriguing aspect of trying to make sense of one element within other elements within the whole.


For a slightly different view there is a central platform constructed using recycled materials from a previous Barbican exhibition.


The artist will be in conversation with Brian Dillon in November and if you fancy trying out the Cyanotype process there is workshop in December.

Walead Beshty’s artwork  offers a considerable amount of interest and if you are visiting the Barbican, this free exhibition is well worth a viewing .

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended


Walead Beshty in conversation with Brian Dillon
26 November, 7pm
Frobisher Room 4 & 5
Tickets £8
Cyanotype Making Workshop
6 December, 11am–3pm
(hourly sessions: 11am, 12noon & 2pm)
Fountain Room
Tickets: Free (Limited capacity, to book email art@barbican.org.uk )
An introduction to cyanotype printing where children and adults can create their own blue photogram using objects from everyday life.

If you would like to find out more about the exhibition or events, visit the Barbican website here

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