Galleries are mostly interchangeable, the art shown in them as suitable to one place as another. Not so Rebecca Beachy’s growing down, harmoniously installed in the ROMAN SUSAN semibasement, a fitting place to contemplate rootedness as a way to stay grounded in our increasingly virtual world. Beachy explores what this might mean through arrangements of materials, some of them simply organic, others evidence of how people deal with nature. River clay sheathes mammal skins and paints the storefront windows, camouflaging both. Bird spikes prop up, rather than rebuff, a deer tail, shale, and cast bird nests. Asphalt decorates traffic cones and a rat trap in a shade profoundly linked to the oily blackness of piled up horse cremains. Gleaming copper leaf on the gallery’s stair railing and a beaver-chewed branch connect two dissimilarly milled tree parts. The ever-presence of death conjures human destructiveness but also natural cycles, the kind that involve transformation into nutrients digestible by root structures. In order to go up, you’ve got to first go down.
—Lori Waxman 2020-12-14 1:31 PM