James Beckett (b. 1977, Harare, Zimbabwe) graduated from the Technikon-Natal, Durban South Africa, after which he took part in a two-year residency in the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Coming from a background of installation art, Beckett’s work spans many genres and bears the mark of several stages of the industrial revolution, such as the foundation of synthetic color manufacture and its relationship to BASF, and the cultural implications of vacuum tubes for the Dutch firm Philips. Without humor his work would appear as mere cynicism – it is romance with an inherently rotten subject matter which offers some sort of redemption in a modern world.
In keeping with these themes, the works on display at DMW Art Space are entries into the recent series ‘Most Notable Car Deaths’ (2017), comprised of imposing sculptures and prints combining auto parts with more traditional materials.
James Beckett is currently represented by Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam. Recent solo exhibitions of the artist include The Guinness Curse, T293, Rome (2017); KaVo Zahnarztstuhl, Regie 1520A, abc in Berlin (2014) and Zakłady na Życie (Plant-Life) Stuk, Leuven (2010). His works have also been included in many group shows, such as Personne et les autres / No one and the others, Belgian Pavilion, Giardini, 56th Venice Biennial (2015); A4 (5) Multiple, S.M.A.K. Ghent (2015); and The Pink Spy, with Narcisse Tordoir, MHKA, Antwerp.