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First major United Kingdom exhibition of artist Jason Rhoades opens at BALTIC
The Creation Myth, 1998. Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich,

GATESHEAD.- BALTIC presents the first major UK exhibition of Jason Rhoades who died in 2006 at the age of 41. A student of Paul McCarthy, Rhoades lived and worked in Los Angeles. He built what he claimed was the world’s largest sculpture at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany in 1999, and had a major installation at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. Part of a generation of artists who created vivid sprawling environments out of a wide range of materials, Rhoades’ diverse cultural references included Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, actor Kevin Costner, and the movie Car Wash, among others.

Jason Rhoades is best known for his spectacular overloaded installations created with found objects, neon, Lego, power tools, snaking wires, figurines, and a vast range of other materials. This exhibition will be anchored by four major installations from across the artist’s career: Garage Renovation New York (Cherry Makita), 1993; The Creation Myth, 1998; Sutter’s Mill, 2000; and Untitled (from My Madinah: In pursuit of my ermitage...), 2004/2013.

Rhoades’s large-scale installations are immediately accessible and eye-catching, charged with humor, vibrancy and the provocative audacity of his vision. At the same time this exhibition will show Jason Rhoades’ art always rewards closer engagement as his seemingly random and chaotic piles of stuff transform into meaningful, metaphorical and functional systems. Creation Myth, comprising hundreds of objects – folding banquet tables, buckets, shredded paper, wooden logs, office equipment and furniture, video monitors, a smoke machine – turns out to be a highly constructed model of the artist’s brain at work with sections for the accumulation of knowledge, memory processing and the subconscious.

The exhibition Jason Rhoades, Four Rhoades has been organised according to four interpretive paths or roads: Jason Rhoades, American Artist; Jason the Mason, (a biographical thread named after a favorite children’s book character); systems (language, scale, indexing, economies), and taboo. By foregrounding these themes, the exhibition aims to map the installations and offer points of entry into the labyrinthine body of work that Rhoades conceived of as one overarching project.

Jason Rhoades (1965-2006) attended the California College of Arts and Crafts, received a BA in fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute, and earned an MFA from UCLA. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Major monographic exhibitions include: the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2006); Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2005); Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (2000); and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany (1999), and he exhibited at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). His work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum fürGegenwart, Berlin; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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