First Los Angeles Survey for Jason Rhoades at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Installation View, 'Jason Rhoades. Tijuanatanjierchandelier,' CAC Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga, Spain, 2016 © The Estate of Jason Rhoades Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and David Zwirner

Beginning February 18, 2017, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel presents Jason Rhoades. Installations, 1994 – 2006, the first major Los Angeles exhibition devoted to the politically charged, darkly exuberant art of Jason Rhoades. This comprehensive survey, comprising a group of six enveloping installation works, constitutes a long-overdue tribute to the artist in his own hometown.

Although Rhoades’ groundbreaking works found early recognition in Europe and New York, the artist spent the entirety of his career in Los Angeles, where he lived and worked until his untimely death in 2006 at the age of 41. The exhibition at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is conceived to share and celebrate his unwavering vision of the world as a universe of expressive opportunity. Assertively pushing against the safety of cultural conventions, Rhoades broke accepted rules of public nicety and expanded the frontiers of artistic opportunity through unbridled, brazenly “Maximalist” works. In short, Rhoades brought the impolite and culturally unspeakable to the center of the conversation.

Organized by Paul Schimmel, partner and vice president at Hauser & Wirth, Jason Rhoades. Installations, 1994 – 2006 will remain on view through May 21, 2017. The exhibition will unfold over 28,000 square feet, tracing the evolution of the artist’s vision and methods through career-defining works including Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts (1994); My Brother/Brancuzi (1995) and The Creation Myth (1998).

Jason Rhoades. Installations, 1994 – 2006 will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue released by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. The book will feature a foreword by Paul Schimmel; an essay by Russell Ferguson, Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles, along with a series of scholarly articles.

Additionally, the exhibition will be complemented by a video compilation of vintage archival footage from The Estate of Jason Rhoades – portions of which are being released for the first time. The film spans the artist’s career and includes foundational documentation of the artist speaking on his work edited by Peter Kirby. The gallery will also host a variety of educational programming, curator-led walkthroughs, and dedicated symposia to discuss the cultural and political complexities conjured by the works.

A decade after his death and in a moment of heightened political tension, Jason Rhoades‘ radical oeuvre is more relevant than ever. From religion, commerce, sex and racial and gender stereotypes, to role of the artist himself, no subject was off-limits and taboo was embraced. Rhoades viewed art as a machine set on a continuous feedback loop, and his existential quest becomes clearer as one moves around and through his installations. Rhoades considered his separate works as components of one single boundless piece realized over time.

“If you know my work, you know that it is unfinished,’ he once said.

Jason Rhoades completed his art studies at UCLA in 1993, where professors Chris Burden, Nancy Rubins, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy and Richard Jackson influenced his highly personal experimentation with performance and sculpture. Rhoades’ culminating accretions of readymades, neon signs, and libidinous imagery mimic the seductive vacuum of capitalist culture. These installations of total experience attract, then repulse, then mystify the viewer, igniting questions that multiply with prolonged exposure to the artist‘s work.

About Andrea Hammer 205 Articles
Andrea K. Hammer, founder and director of Artsphoria Magazine & Boutique, is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. She has published articles in international publications. Through this expanded edition of Artsphoria, she invites fellow artists, writers, innovators and creative thinkers to join our conversation!