Perversion of Form

March 31 – May 13, 2017


Opening reception: Friday, March 31, 6 - 8 pm


Performance: Robert Beatty and Blues Control at Black Iris 

Saturday, April 1, Doors open at 7:30; Performance at 8 pm.

Artist Robert Beatty will be performing a solo electronic set alongside experimental music duo Blues Control.




Built around a longstanding conversation between artists Robert BeattySarah BrilandRyan CrowleyBen Durham, and Mike GoodlettPerversion of Form explores the parallels between these artists' adversarial attraction to traditional forms of art-making. Although they often work in strikingly different media, each artist employs compulsive, process-based practices as a means of engaging yet subverting the prevailing notions and functions of their craft. The ambiguities at play in their work reflect an attraction to and reaction against the pre-existing systems, products, and infrastructures that dominate our sense of self and the surrounding world. Spanning drawing, sculpture, video, and sound, this work reveals a need to experience the world through the transformation of material, and a desire to speak not of function, comfort, and beauty, but of doubt, unease, and corporeality.


Robert Beatty is an artist and musician based in Lexington, KY. He records experimental music as Three Legged Race and is a member of noise band Hair Police. He's become of one of the most sought after figures in contemporary album art, as well as creating videos, installations, and illustrations for publications as diverse as Lucky Peach, The Wire Magazine, and The New York Times. In 2016, Beatty's debut monograph Floodgate Companion was published. 


Sarah Briland received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been exhibited nationally including shows at KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA, and UrbanGlass, in Brooklyn, NY. In 2014, she was an Emerging Artist-in-Residence at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. 


Ryan Crowley is a Richmond, VA based sculptor. Originally from Boston, Crowley studied sculpture and painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2012 Crowley earned his MFA from the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the recipient of a 2014 VMFA Professional Fellowship Award. 


Ben Durham has exhibited internationally, including solo shows at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York, Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles, Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin, and Reynolds Gallery in Richmond. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Flag Art Foundation, the Hammer Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 


Mike Goodlett is based in Wilmore, KY. His work has been widely exhibited, including solo exhibitions at the Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, Christian Berst Gallery, New York, NY, and Institute 193, Lexington, KY. He's recently been included in group exhibitions at Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA, and KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY.