The Easel

3rd July 2018

A New Met Exhibit Shows That Mark Rothko Made Paintings As Good As The Quilts Of Gee’s Bend

Where does vernacular art – like quilt making – fit in the art world? Should it be compared directly to mainstream art? Or, does it belong in its own category, such as “outsider art”. Categorization seems beside the point if mainstream and self-taught artists have “converged on compositional commonalities that make many people’s eyes respond in equivalent ways.”

Kevin Beasley

There is an unmistakable air of excitement around this artist. Beasley uses garments soaked in resin to form evocative, free-standing shapes or to press into painting-like panels. One writer comments that they “hum with memory and reference, a life’s ordinary baggage preserved beneath an impeccable Old Master shine.”