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Jason Rhoades
Sepia Movie
Hard drive flatwork, LCD screen and CD-ROM drive in wood frame behind glass
Edition of 1/12
20 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
Purchased with funds contributed by the Young Collectors Council, 2000

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Excerpt from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum:

Jason Rhoades - Biography

Jason Rhoades was born in Newcastle, California, on July 9, 1965. He attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland from 1985 to 1986. In 1988 he received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and attended the summer residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. As a student at the Art Institute he became interested in the performance work of Paul McCarthy, who was then teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles. This eventually led Rhoades to pursue an MFA there in 1991, after briefly living in New York.

Shortly upon completion of his graduate degree in 1993, Rhoades, through an introduction by McCarthy, had his first solo exhibition at David Zwirner gallery in New York. Another Los Angeles-based artist influential to Rhoades, Richard Jackson, introduced him to the Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica, California, where he had his West Coast solo debut in 1994. Both shows were met with favorable reviews and Rhoades began exhibiting widely across Europe and the United States.

Rhoades quickly became well-known for making large-scale, chaotic, warehouse-like environments filled with accumulations of found, altered, and handmade objects. His multimedia installations were inspired by a combination of spiritual Eastern cultures in which he took interest, and popular Western cultures in which he lived. His first exhibition in New York at David Zwirner included a Chevrolet V8 car engine, bicycle, tools made out of tinfoil, actual power tools, and a Howard Carter book and Carter photographs on the subject of his excavation of King Tuts tomb, among other objects, installed in and around a garage-like construction, all inspired by the 1969 Western musical Paint Your Wagon, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, and Jean Seberg.

Emerging within the context of 1990s installation, or "scatter" art, alongside Matthew Barney and Cady Noland, Rhoades eventually distinguished himself through assembling provocatively conceived situations in which invited participants played a scripted role in the completion of the work. One of these, Black Pussy Soirée Cabaret Macramé (2006), the last work in a five-year-long trilogy, consisted of, among a number of other mass-produced objects, Rhoades’s growing collection of cross-cultural euphemisms for the female genitalia spelled-out in neon and black light as a setting for a party. This was his final project in Los Angeles before his unexpected death there in August 2006.

Rhoades participated in two Whitney Biennials, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1995, 1997), as well as two Venice Biennales (1997 and 1999). His first European solo exhibition was at the Kunsthalle Basel (1996). Rhoades collaborated with McCarthy on an exhibition at David Zwirner (1999), one of several projects the artists worked on together.

Image copyright 2000 Jason Rhoades. Courtesy Estate of Jason Rhoades Hauser & Wirth David Zwirner, New York.


Jason Rhoades (American, 1965–2006)
b. July 9, 1965
d. 2006

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Art in Context - Art for the Day: July 9

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