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Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago) is recognized as one of the major voices of his generation, an artist who composes searing meditations on race and class while establishing an organic formal vocabulary that fuses a variety of sculptural and painterly traditions. Though he employs materials drawn from specific autobiographical contexts—including those related to African American intellectual and imaginative life—and though his practice had its beginnings in photography and conceptual art, Johnson is equally interested in testing the ability of abstract visual languages to communicate across cultural boundaries. The visceral experience of art, on formal terms, is therefore considered inseparable from the social matrix that gives rise to it. Johnson’s work is predicated upon moving freely between these two modes. The breadth and generosity of his vision has resulted in a wide range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, installations, videos, and performances. 

A major outdoor sculpture by Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago) was recently installed at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York. ‘Stage,’ Johnson’s interactive installation and sound work, is open through fall 2021 at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2019); Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2019); Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2017), which traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum (2017); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016); and Drawing Center, New York (2015). Notable group exhibitions include Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America, New Museum, New York (2021); The Stomach and the Port, Liverpool Biennial, England (2021); Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); and ILLUMInations, International Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy (2011). His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His first feature-length film, an adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son, premiered on HBO in 2019. Johnson lives and works in New York.

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