Los Angeles… Beginning 18 February 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. Comprised of six major works spanning the artist’s career, this exhibition constitutes a long-overdue, comprehensive survey in his adopted city. While Rhoades’ groundbreaking installations 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 an infinite, corpulent, and lustful 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 21 May 2017. The exhibition will unfold over 28,000 square feet, tracing the evolution of the artist’s vision and methods through career-defining works: ‘Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts’ (1994); ‘My Brother / Brancuzi’ (1995); ‘The Creation Myth’ (1998); ‘My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage…’ (2004); ‘The Black Pussy… and the Pagan Idol Workshop’ (2005), and ‘Tijuanatanjierchandelier’ (2006). ‘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.
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, delivering something superficially chaotic but replete with hidden references beyond first blush, 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 never finished,’ he once said.
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.