Spring Rain – Becky Beasley brings cucumbers and ambiguity to Leeds Art Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 26 July 2013

Exhibition preview: Spring Rain – Becky Beasley, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, until September 22 2013

A black and white photo of a hand holding a shrivelled cucumber
Becky Beasley, Cucumber Hand iii. Gelatin silverprint© Becky Beasley
Cucumbers are a repeating theme in this exhibition. Grown from seed by photographer Becky Beasley, they represent green lengths of vitality, growth, reproduction, tending and nurturing, but also refer, more abstractly, to the protocols of daily life and its various cycles.

Beasley, who had a solo show at Tate Britain last year, has literary inspirations. The title, for starters, comes from a short story by 20th century Jewish American writer Bernard Malamud, whose minimal take on the ambiguities of human relationships chimes with the artist’s own interests in the unsaid and unsayable.

Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne’s meandering biography of a burbling 18th century gentleman, and Marcel Duchamp’s final painting, Étant donnés, are further key reference points for the artist.

And more vegetables – this time in a series of photographs by Victorian gardener Charles Jones – accompany a second display, I Fall to Pieces, drawn by Beasley from still life and domestic works in the Leeds collection.

  • Open 10am-5pm (12pm-5pm Wednesday, 1pm-5pm Sunday, closed Bank Holidays). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @LeedsArtGallery.

More pictures:

A photo of an embryonic cucumber dangling on a wire
Spring Rain (family) (2013)© Courtesy Becky Beasley / Laura Bartlett Gallery / Fancesca Minini
A photo of an art gallery
© Simon Warner
A photo of an art gallery
© Simon Warner
A photo of an art gallery
© Simon Warner
A photo of various artworks on the white wall of an art gallery
© Simon Warner
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