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Walead Beshty

*1976 London, lives and works in Los Angeles https://www.actionstakenunderthefictitiousnamewaleadbeshtystudiosinc.com/walead-beshty-bio

  • United States Federal Reserve One-Dollar Note: Series 2017, Issued by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia, Printed in Washington, District of Columbia, Plate Position F4, Front Plate No. 104, Back Plate No. 80, Serial No. A46336540C - A46336600C
  • Lithograph and hand polished gold bronze on banknote (unique)
  • Edition of: 60
  • Size of image: 15,50 cm x 6,50 cm x 3,00 cm
  • Size: 32,50 cm x 24,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 740.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Only available in artist's frame (6/22 white aluminum frame with passe-partout) | The full title contains all the information about the bill, including the serial number, and is therefore different for each work.

Walead Beshty conceived a new series of monochrome gold US one-dollar bills. The gold powder is based on a copper and zinc composite and has been hand polished on each note after applying a special glue through lithographic printing. Playing with the historical relationship of the gold standard, money’s value today is not only no longer guaranteed by any equivalent, but it is also gradually disappearing into the digital realm. Here the artist invites reflection on a transitioning system of objects of value - be it money or artworks. In the present case the artist chose to name the series' works with the entire information that is codified for each banknote. This practice reveals that none of the works is alike, as each one can be traced back singularly to its production facility and even its printing plate. Beshty also reflects this approach within his attitude toward editions in general: "I don't produce editions because in my concept of artworks, there are never two objects completely alike". This practice not only calls the understanding of authenticity into question, but it re-establishes the necessary discussion about uniqueness and originality in contemporary art and specifically printmaking.

Walead Beshty understands the system of contemporary art as a subfield of the globalized capitalist society, which is characterized by the flow of information as well as value exchange. Thus, for the artist, artworks are no longer conceivable merely as autonomous aesthetic or formalistic objects, but rather as intricate production histories deconstructed into their different composites. The combination of simple and abstract forms with complex and multi-layered institutional criticism leads not only to contemplation but also to the reflection of the socio-political implications of aesthetics. The questions of authenticity and processual transparency are threads permeating Beshty's practice as he always uncovers the objecthood and material constitution of the art object.

Walead Beshty has had his latest institutional exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2020), in the Fondazione MAST Bologna (2020) and the MAMCO, Geneva (2019). His work was featured in the Venice Biennale 2015 "All the Worlds Futures" curated by Okwui Enwezor. Beshty's work is among others in the collection of the MoMA, New York and the Tate Modern, London.

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