Robin Rhodes first solo exhibition in the Netherlands is now on view at the Museum Voorlinden
. Spanning two decades of artistic output, the retrospective reveals how drawing underscores Rhodes work across photography, installation, performance, sculpture, and animation.
Rhode was born in 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa and now lives and works in Berlin. His work creates visual narratives that are brought to life using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint. Rhode came of age in the newly post-apartheid South Africa and was exposed to new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual. The growing influence of hip-hop, film, and popular sports on youth culture as well as the communitys reliance on storytelling in the form of colorful murals encouraged the development of Rhodes aesthetic.
The Voorlinden exhibition showcases Rhodes bold and imaginative approach to line, shape, and color in multiple mediums as a means of understanding and commenting on social and political issues.
For example, in Light Giver, Light Taker (pictured at top), Rhode manipulates oversized light bulb sculptures coated in chalk to create an ephemeral drawing that exists for the duration of the exhibition. The bulbs refer to recurrent power cuts in South Africa as well the under-known achievements of African American inventor Lewis Latimer, who developed improved carbon filaments that were instrumental in the invention of the light bulb.
Lehmann Maupin London recently presented The Backyard is My World, a solo exhibition of photographs and an animation by Rhode that he created in the backyard of his family home in Johannesburg. The Art Newspaper recommended the exhibition among the citys best shows for photography fans and noted its timely consideration of the home during a unique moment when, as many of us know all too well, our domestic space has become a singular point of focus; a private stage in which almost every aspect of our lives has played out.
Robin Rhode is on view at the Museum Voorlinden through September 26.