Spectator Sports

Kyle Beal

December 3 to February 13


In a world governed by rules and social and societal pressures, life is a stage and we are all performing. A glaring truth that largely goes unaddressed, and which fascinates Edmonton-based artist Kyle Beal.

Beal’s self-deprecating and self-conscious conceptual art uses word play, metaphor and allusion to provide a unique take on the curious conditions that make up modern life. Beal’s drawings, sculptures and installations deal with topics of social change, human condition, death and technology. Meticulous renderings of collapsed concert stages show the potential collapse of established systems. Large scale sculptural works utilize found and altered objects to create a loose self-portrait, amusing viewers with Beal’s distinct brand of self-critical humour, eliciting reflection and self-analysis.

Audience engagement and language are important in this multidisciplinary artist’s practice. Optical illusions, surprise and humor create an accessible platform for ‘spectators’ to re-examine their day-to-day routines and behaviour. With just the right balance of irreverence and seriousness, Beal blends reality with spectacle to challenge our notions of convention and authenticity.


Kyle Beal, Spectator Sports (detail), charcoal, pastel on cotton rag paper, 30 x 44”, 2019.