Rodney Graham counts among the most important conceptual artists of our time. He is renowned for his humorous, self-reflexive and narrative works, in which he puts himself in relation to literature, music, film, and icons from art history in various roles.
The exhibition Kitchen Magic Drawings at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle shows new works by Rodney Graham in the role of the “pipe cleaner artist,” a concept he has been pursuing since 2013. Rüdiger Schöttle’s new book KITCHEN MAGIC provided the inspiration for these intensely colorful and mysterious drawings. The text is based on ideas of Theodor W. Adorno and Jacques Derrida; the kitchen serves as a metaphor and space for Rüdiger Schöttle’s thoughts on temporality, perception and the connection of subject and object.
Rodney Graham: “I tried to respond to Rüdiger’s very abstract text in the persona of the ‘pipe cleaner artist,’ an imaginary artist working in the 1960s, who explores the expressive potential of bent, twisted, paint-dipped pipe cleaners (somewhat in the tradition of Cocteau, who, in a photograph by Man Ray, is seen fabricating a pipe cleaner head – such as the one seen in Blood of a Poet). I did two series of drawings, one in black and white, and executed with pipe cleaners dipped in India ink, and a second series in color executed with pipe cleaners as well as traditional brushes. Both Kitchen Magic series attempt to find a resonance with Rüdiger’s text by evoking unconscious images of transformation through an essentially automatist approach.”
In addition to the drawing, this exhibition shows assemblages, which are also made of pipe cleaners and reveal another facet of the “pipe cleaner artist.” Without any fixation on one single medium, Rodney Graham uses this role to amalgamate with one another the real and the fictional figure of the artist.
Rodney Graham (born in 1949 in Vancouver, Canada), lives and works in Vancouver. His works are part of some of the most important collections around the world, and have been part of international exhibitions since the 1980s. In late 2015, the Sammlung Goetz in Munich will dedicate a solo exhibition to the artist.
Forthcoming in spring 2015 at Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne: RÜDIGER SCHÖTTLE: KÜCHENZAUBER / KITCHEN MAGIC. With 12 color drawings by Rodney Graham. (J. Singer)