James Beckett

We cordially invite you to a solo exhibition of new work by artist James Beckett (born Harara, Zimbabwe 1975, lives and works in Amsterdam).
The exhibition will feature his latest production: Limburgerhof (The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements).

The opening will take place on Saturday 6 December from 5:00 pm till 7:00 pm.
We would be very pleased if you could join us on this special occasion.
The exhibition will run from December 6 until January 18. Between December 21 and January 4 the Gallery is closed
Gallery hours are: Thursday – Saturday 1:00 – 6:00 pm and by appointment.

For further information and visuals, please contact the gallery; office@wilfriedlentz.com or +31 (0)10 4126459.
The installation ‘Limburgerhof (The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements)’ is a series of newly produced pieces, – translations and reworkings of material relating to an agricultural research centre.

Formerly a small German village producing sugar beet, Limburgerhof was developed as housing for workers of the chemical giant BASF, later to become an agricultural research centre in 1914. As a division of BASF’s other chemical exploits, the Limburgerhof plant became of key importance in the development of knowledge in the chemical manipulation of crops, including the use of fertilizers. There were however several short-comings in the early days of these experiments, in particular the Oppau explosion of 1921, which resulted in the formation of a 90 by 125 m crater and with it, the death of some 600 people.

Beckett takes Limburgerhof as a series of events and facets, a sort of loose tool kit with which to re-arrange and combine, in order to derive new sense. Each piece of information is kept dry and unfettered in order for it to remain compatible with another, – each object precious so as to place emphasis on the seemingly peripheral. In an installation of paintings, sculptures, embroidery and various objects presented in cabinets, an environment is born sitting somewhere between a public communications centre of the Limburgerhof, and craft exhibition of BASF-employees. With this technique for the approach of a history, the exhibition aims to become a lens, both to review and offer new light on a subject, as well as to practice a visual language purely as an act in itself.

‘Limburgerhof’ is a continuation of the extract-arrangement series, following ‘Dalmine (and other industry extract-arrangements)’ and preceding the ‘fire extract-arrangements’, of which there will be a few preview pieces on show.

Coming from a background of installation and sound, Beckett has been involved in a form of research in various subjects, building on a surface layer across various media. Specific areas of the industrial revolution have played muse; such as the evolution of Dalmine (an Italian company producing tubular steel) and the cultural implications of vacuum tubes for the Dutch firm Philips. Along with being a member of the Dutch based musicians collective; N-collective, Beckett has his own registered Scottish tartan, the pattern of which is based on vintage digestive experiments: ‘Beckett-Beaumont’ (#7039).

Recent exhibitions include ‘Dalmine (and other industry extract-arrangements)’, Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin; Young Artists’ Biennal, Fundatia Culturala Meta, Bucharest; ‘For the First and the Second Time’, CAC Vilnius; ‘Living Registration’, T293 Naples; ‘Living Registration’, Bürofriedrich Berlin; ‘Between Thought and Sound’, The Kitchen New York; “Museum of Noise’, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne.
Beckett won the Prix de Rome for Art and Public Space in 2003. He will publish a monograph with Kehrer Verlag of Heidelberg in early 2009, featuring most works of the past decade.
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James Beckett, Limburgerhof The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements, installationview
James Beckett, Limburgerhof The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements,
Plates and Knives (working title), 2008
Vitrine, 2 dishes, 2 knives
50 x 110 x 24 cm

James Beckett, Limburgerhof The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements, installationview
James Beckett, Limburgerhof The Agricultural Extract-Arrangements, 2008, installationview