Walead Beshty

Copper Surrogates . 2017 – 2022

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Walead Beshty’s two “Copper Surrogates” are part of a series of minimalist sculptures which are both physical and deeply conceptual works. As per the artist’s instructions, the works are always handled without gloves, so that they bear the marks of the labor of the art handlers who touched them.The artwork is not merely the sculpture made in the studio; it’s what happened to the sculpture in the process of arriving at the gallery. It is the sum of the thing and everything that it went through to arrive at its final destination. The solitary genius-worship of the art world has conditioned us to look for the artist’s mark, his signature, his brushstroke, and to ignore the studio assistant who is supposed to be an invisible extension of the artist’s intention. “The Copper Surrogates” do the exact opposite- they hide the artist’s work and bear the permanent marks of the men and women who bring the work into our view.