DENVER, CO.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
announces the opening of Rashid Johnson: New Growth, a solo exhibition of new work by Rashid Johnson.
In Rashid Johnson: New Growth, the artist works with personally and historically loaded material such as shea butter and black soap, combining it with LP covers and books in complex paintings, sculptures and installations. His works challenge conventional representations of collective identity. Beginning with the question, What would happen if Sun Ra, George Washington Carver and Robert Smithson started a community together in the desert? New Growth's playful scrutiny intertwines cosmology and escapism in an attempt to blur the lines separating past, present and future.
The physical manipulation of biomaterial into an abstract, aestheticized form is a concept that runs through all of the works in the exhibition. Johnson references to the ongoing transformation of both bodies and landscapes, and the identities embedded within them. New Growth features newly commissioned works including the video Samuel in Space and the Shea Butter Irrigation System. Works in wax, burned wood, tile and mirror, as well as brass chairs, wood chairs and rugs round out the exhibition.
Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Johnson was recently the subject of the solo exhibition Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, an exhibition that traveled to the Miami Art Museum, the Kemper Art Museum and the High Museum of Art. His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Shanghai Biennale, REACTIVATION, Shanghai, China, 2012; Venice Biennale, ILLUMINations, Venice, Italy, 2011; For the Love of the Game: Race and Sports, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 2007; and Freestyle, The Studio Museum, 2001. Johnson was the recipient of the 2012 David C. Driskell Prize.
Rashid Johnson: New Growth was organized by Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX. The exhibition is being presented in the Vicki & Kent Logan Promenade, the Natasha Congdon Gallery, the Mary Caulkins & Karl Kister Gallery and the Joseph Crescenti Family Gallery from February 21 through June 15, 2014.