September 12, 2014

Rodney Graham: Props and Other Paintings

Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Rodney Graham, Prop Painting from the Gifted Amateur,
Nov 10th, 1962,
2007. Courtesy of the artist and
Rennie Collection. Photo: Blaine Campbell.

Curated by Cate Rimmer

The Charles H. Scott Gallery is pleased to present a solo show by esteemed Vancouver artist Rodney Graham. The exhibition is primarily comprised of the artist’s recent paintings, with a focus on works that were produced as props for artworks such as The Gifted Amateur, Pipe Cleaner Artist, My Late Early Styles and Lobbing Potatoes at a Gong. Many of these prop paintings were produced and continue to be developed long after the work for which they were originally intended was completed.

Graham—who is well known for his literary and conceptual artworks, cinematic installations and costume dramas, as well as the music he creates as a singer-songwriter—turned seriously to painting in 2003, producing heavy impasto paintings and gestural monochromes that make reference to modernist masters such as Pablo Picasso, Lucio Fontana and Kazimir Malevich. Among the many works in the exhibition is Black Tapestry, a series of black square paintings made on multiple copies of the record cover of Carole King’s 1971 masterpiece Tapestry. The exhibition also features the largest upside-down drip painting made by the artist to date.

Rodney Graham: Props and Other Paintings is the final installment of a trio of exhibitions held from May to November in Vancouver, including Rodney Graham: Collected Works (May 31 to October 4) at Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, and Torqued Chandelier Release and Other Works (June 20 to August 17) at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Rennie Collection, which initiated the three exhibitions and holds a substantial collection of Graham’s work.

Recent solo exhibitions of Graham’s work have been held at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Museu Picasso, Barcelona; the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel. Graham’s work can be found in a number of public collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Modern, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2006 Emily Carr University Press published This is the Only Living I’ve Got (Don’t Take it Away From Me): The Rodney Graham Songbook and in 2012 READ Books produced an edition of 125 unique prints by the artist titled the Amazing Rotary Psycho-Opticon™.

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