de PURY Presents, ‘Vanessa Beecroft - Ceramics and Paintings 2016 – 2021’, launching on 25th August 2021, with the Anglo-Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft, in her Los Angeles-based studio. Beecroft presents recent sculptures and paintings, started in 2016, of female figures and nudes.
Beecroft, largely known for her performances and large-scale photographs of them, has been working for over 30 years across performance, sculpture, and paintings. Inspired by her upbringing in Italy, her practice has been informed by classical art and sculpture, and at the same time interrogates the male gaze and the societal pressures of being a woman. From 2008, Beecroft has worked for Kanye West and been responsible for the visual language of his concerts, performances, and fashion shows.
For this exhibition, Beecroft has produced a series of figurative sculptures of women which the artist sees as an extension of her performances. Resembling Brancusi’s studio in Paris, the sculptures will be placed at various locations throughout her large studio, highlighting the relationship between the works and the space around them. These sculptures will be placed alongside large-scale paintings, a medium Beecroft hadn’t utilised for 20 years, expressing what she felt she couldn’t convey through her performances.
‘Everything in my work is rooted in me—biographically and culturally. My roots, my visions, my issues are represented in my work. My first sculptures were made of flesh, of real women. At that time, for me, no media could translate what I wanted to express with my work. As in an emergency, I used the subject matter directly. But these sculptures and paintings materialise the performances and translate them into objects and capture what the performances cannot.
I’ve always used painting as a medium since I was a student. In each performance there were elements of painting. I set the women in the space as if they were part of a Raphael linear perspective. I coloured their hair or skin as if they were paintings. When I finally started painting systematically in 2019, I locked myself in the studio for nine months, producing much of the exploration and works exhibited here.
A show in my studio is an ideal scenario allowing intimacy with my works and ideas. Allowing what they represent to develop as the show progresses and the works exposed.’ - Vanessa Beecroft