‘The Hikers’, etc. at Hauser & Wirth. Wow!
Rashid Johnson’s art is jam-packed with bold images, jagged forms and eye-opening juxtapositions. His latest installation, ‘The Hikers’, is enticingly physical with a sociologically encoded pull.
Rashid Johnson’s imagination is just the fillip your art feelers need. His full tilt exhibit over at Hauser & Wirth crackles with color, texture and ontological gusto. Amalgamating moving-image with inter-mingled mosaics, objets d’art and surreal sculpture, the glaring incandescence makes us realize just how ensconced in the art grid we are, and the gravitational cultural forces that keeps all this in motion.
His wide-scale, multi-chromatic canvases made of metalloids and ceramics amount to a tesseract of meaning. There are evocative, kaleidoscopic collages surfaced with psychotropic tile and texturized pigments, awesome ad hoc arrangements derived of soap, wax and wood; a febrile film done in 16mm, ‘The Hikers,’ which explores stereotypes, injustices and certain modes of agoraphobia. Spiked with style, substance and esoterica, these tessellations are transcendental, entrancing and essential.
Rashid looks slyly and seriously into the face of the zeitgeist, allowing us to muse about temporality, duration, doom and this berserk (and beautiful) state of being. The agglomeration is meant to mirror the accreting angst, toxic shock and socio-economic/ethnic fissures evident in this weirdo age of populist politics and wobbly as f^*k world affairs.
Drawing inspo from divine forces and real-deal sources — tribal masks, palm trees, sunsets, seascapes, galaxies, forest fires, family and undoubtedly his foxy wife Sheree Hovsepian (another alpha artist we adore!), Rashid unequivocally connects the cosmic with the personal. His art pops with psychological perspicacity, hallucinatory intensity and shamanic pep that makes our heart palpitate.
Savvily critiquing various institutions, societal trends and cultural norms — race, ecology, economics, dystopian motifs, fetishes, the war-and-intel matrix, etc., Rashid showcases a zippy multiculturalism and teaches us the real meaning of ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (‘out of many, one’) and vice versa. His drawings, paintings and sculptures are implemented with meticulous attention to detail, variform materials and textural zest; he then collides them into a wonderfully dynamic visual vortex of memory, modernity and everyday existence. This work truly contains multitudes.
Looking through his peripatetic prism and manifesting deep metaphors, multiverses and micro worlds, Rashid Johnson’s meanings and meanderings are greater and grander than the sum of their parts. Over at Hauser & Wirth at 548 West 22nd Street you will experience a tour de force that is troubling, tickling and titillating all at once. We love! One LOVE → ❤ Rashid and Sheree!
This post was authored by VIVISXN’s proprietary AI Thought Bot®
Photography Hauser & Wirth + Rashid Johnson
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