Tyler Beard presented by Deanna Evans Projects
Deanna Evans Projects is excited to announce a solo exhibition with Tyler Beard, Breathe Easy. The exhibition will include a selection of new paintings, objects, and frames placed within wood partitions built by the artist. Beard’s friend and writer, Andrew Marzoni, recently visited his studio and put together the text below in response to their conversation.
In the course of preparing his first solo gallery show in New York, Tyler Beard paid a woman in Williamsburg fifty dollars for a plank of wood “carbon dated,” the Craigslist ad read, at eight hundred years old. He doesn’t know what kind of wood it is—hickory, probably—or whether this found object will end up in the exhibition—probably not—but that won’t be decided until later, and anyway, this is a show of paintings.
Since 2018, Beard, a third-generation woodworker, has kept a studio in the Bed-Stuy apartment he shares with painter Amelia Carley, his wife. As an “outdoor kid” in Kansas, Beard collected arrowheads with his grandfather by Pomme de Terre Lake, wandering the banks of the creek behind his house, and fashioning weapons out of the objects at his feet. A taste for adventure continues to shape his approach to object making and material exploration: after a residency in the Mediterranean, exploring Greek islands by means of a catamaran, he began to incorporate the objects he foraged into his work. He set sail to make sculpture, but in the end, he found it on the beach. Like Vija Celmins did in To Fix the Image in Memory (1977–1982), Beard unearthed a conversation between the visual energy of the objects he makes in the studio and the things he stumbles upon in the field.
Riffing on Lévi-Strauss at the 1966 Johns Hopkins conference that provided poststructuralism with an origin story, Jacques Derrida described the bricoleur as “someone who uses ‘the means at hand,’ that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary.” For Beard, this can mean whittling lumps of clay to complement the sea urchin he has placed on an adjacent shelf, or hauling a discarded bed frame up four flights of stairs to see if an ocean horizon he brushed in blunt graphic blues will fit inside (it does, flush). Beard’s is a blended practice, a bringing together of disparate objects that playfully dovetail, as though they were long lost friends.
The artist sometimes compares his arrangements to a chef in need of only three ingredients: his tomato, basil, and mozzarella are object, frame, and painting. In Breathe Easy, innovations in garnish—twelve-by-fifteen-inch off-white marble frames cast in his living room—are attached to the wood panels where he has fixed his attention on geometry and color. Beard’s use of color, whether subtle or loud, attempts to carry the viewer elsewhere via landscapes no less fantastical in their shape and saturation than those of the wildlife documentaries playing in the background while he tinkers. A balance between the found and the manufactured, the real and the imagined, the experienced and the mediated is essential, but the hand must remain present, and the line shouldn’t be too smooth, no matter how cartoonish or abstract. Beard’s process is pseudo-archaeological, but like Noguchi, he aims to calm the noise: a “devout optimist,” his assemblages invite the viewer to dissociate from the contemporary hellscape, if only for a moment—to breathe deep, to discover, perhaps even to smile.
About the Artist
Tyler Beard (b. 1982, Olathe, KS) received an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BFA from the University of Kansas. He has had solo shows at Atlanta Contemporary, GA; the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, CO; Central Utah Arts Center, UT; Robischon Gallery, CO. Additionally, He has been featured in group exhibitions at ROCKELMANN&, Berlin; Victori + Mo, NY; Coop Gallery, TN; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, CO; and the Biennial of the Americas, CO. He has participated in numerous artist residencies including the Montello Foundation, NV; Anderson Ranch Arts Center, CO; Ceramic Center Berlin, GER; Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, MN; and OffShore, NY. Beard currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Details for the work: Tyler Beard, Three Leaves (detail), 2019, Flashe on wood panel in marble composite frame, 15.5 x 12.5 x 1.75 inches
About Deanna Evans Projects
Deanna Evans Projects began in 2017 as a Bed-Stuy-based apartment gallery focusing on underrepresented artists based in New York with an emphasis on painting and sculpture.
Deanna Evans Projects aims to put together innovative exhibitions in an intimate apartment setting as well as in pop up locations throughout NYC.