David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present One-on-One: Rashid Johnson, Standing Broken Men. The online exhibition features a new mixed-media work that speaks to our current existential moment while revealing connections between periods in the history of art as well as the trajectory of Johnson’s career. The presentation will remain on view through July 15, 2020.
To access One-on-One: Rashid Johnson, Standing Broken Men, please click here.
With its searing, frenetic depiction of a human head and torso composed largely from pieces of ceramic tile but also branded wood, mirror, and paint, among other materials, Standing Broken Men (2020) is a container of visual and sculptural contradictions. It is also a record of both methodical planning and free-form experimentation. Johnson's fragmented approach to figuration is a reminder that his project is an expansive, constantly shifting phenomenon with roots in conceptual art, performance, literature, photography, and video. For almost two decades, Johnson has made work at the intersections between abstraction, cultural observation, self-exploration, and social critique. His investigations of race and class often take shape in non-objective, painterly compositions that prove just as revelatory about the supposed universality of modernism. Materials with real-world functionality are employed in the creation of images that foreground seemingly "pure" geometry and color, and idealized forms like the grid are used to support living interventions and performative actions that rupture received ideas about order. Standing Broken Men occupies an important role in this matrix, channeling the fraught—and potentially fertile—energy of today, while shedding light on both personal and collective visions of the past.