Rodney Graham : Canadian Humourist
11 September – 03 November 2012
Beginning 11 September 2012, Johnen Galerie presents its sixth exhibition of works by Canadian artist Rodney Graham. Since the 1970s, the Vancouver-based artist has been known for his witty and subversive play with figures and works from western cultural history.
Graham frequently uses surprising biographical details to place past and present, life and work into often complex and enigmatic relationships.
The current exhibition shows five lightboxes and several conceptual works with text and music. In the work Canadian Humourist Graham addresses the well-known Canadian author and TV journalist Pierre Berton as a whimsical figure from a past era of the medium TV. In Old Punk on Pay Phone, Vancouver’s last public telephone serves as the setting for an ironic-nostalgic homage to Punk. In Betula Pendula Fastigiata (Sous-Chef on Smoke Break) Graham parodies his own position within the art business.
In addition to the lightboxes, based on the earlier work The King’s Part (1999) Graham presents a composition by Frederick the Great, but visitors will only be able to hear the clacking of the flute’s keys. Graham will also present his new edition of The System of Landor’s Cottage, referring to Edgar Allan Poe.
Rodney Graham, born in 1949, has had numerous solo exhibitions, for example at Vancouver Art Gallery (2012), Museu d’Art Contemporari de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2010), Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel, 2010), MoCA - Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, 2004) und at K21 - Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, 2003), documenta IX (1992)