Known for her multivalent investigations of repetition and interiority, Campbell’s work often begins with a stutter in space. Installed together in a seemingly endless grove of wired energy, Campbell’s mobiles are a striking counterpart to installations such as Following Room (2007-2008), exhibited in two variations at The Whitney Museum of American Art and Manifesta 7. Engaging further with multiplied and almost imperceptibly varied realities, Campbell’s wire mobiles suggest three-dimensional flow-charts, visualizations of endless abstract possibility.
Conceived as “drawings in space” rather than sculptural forms, the bends and twists of Campbell’s wire trace the action of her hand, forming peculiar investigations of subjectivity. As in Freud’s neurological diagrams, biomorphic form yields to psychological schema. Heavy metal becomes thread-like, energized. Varying in shape, weight, and patina, lines combine in dendritic structures evoking trees and nervous systems in their infinite, fractal detail.
Campbell’s work is rooted in futurist and modernist sensibilities yet engages contemporary interest in psychogeography and mapping. Clustered in an ever-shifting installation, each mobile becomes another’s framing mechanism, creating interlaced relationships that suspend and cascade off one another. Social, technological, and architectural systems are evoked within the mobiles’ viral network. By recognizing pattern in endless renewal, Campbell’s forms resist fixity and stasis to plumb the abstraction of cause and effect.
Beth Campbell has recently completed solo projects with the Whitney Museum of American Art, Manifesta 7, and the Public Art Fund. Previous shows include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Andrea Rosen Gallery, White Columns, the Drawing Room (London), and the Tang Museum. Her work is included in collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.