Rashid Johnson’s Untitled Escape Collage, includes ceramic tiles, mirror tiles, branded flooring and black soap. The human form appears, occluded or disguised, within patterns of natural imagery. In the film The Hikers, we experience a kind of tender ballet, in which two men wearing masks move through nature, each on a separate hike. When they meet, they remove their masks, and find brief joy in each other’s presence before continuing on their individual paths. The film is a testament to the anxiety of navigating unfamiliar space and the comfort that can be found in being in the presence of another who shares aspects of your identity.

Ra​shid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago, USA) is based in New York. Johnson employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. His work is known for its narrative embedding of a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing collective aspects of African American intellectual history and cultural identity. Recent solo exhibitions include The Rainbow Sign, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Rashid Johnson. Hail We Now Sing Joy, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2017); Rashid Johnson. Within Our Gates, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016); and Fly Away, Hauser & Wirth, New York (2016).

EXHIBITED WORKS

The Hikers, 2019
16mm film transferred to digital with sound 7’4”
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Untitled Escape Collage, 2019
Ceramic tile, mirror tile, vinyl, spray enamel, branded red oak flooring, oil stick, black soap, wax
308 × 7 × 247 cm (framed)
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

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