“50 years and something new” – that's the motto for the forthcoming 12 months, beginning with the solo exhibition of the Canadian artist Rodney Graham on 16th November 2017, for the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. Conceptual art, which certainly counts Rodney Graham among its renowned exponents, has from the very beginning been an essential part of the gallery's programme. Rüdiger Schöttle first exhibited Rodney Graham's work in a group exhibition in Munich in 1985. His oeuvre embraces painting, music, film and sculpture, genres in which he often humorously addresses past or contemporary movements and trends in art, culture and philosophy.
In this year's solo exhibition it is music that occupies centre stage. On show will be both new and existing works that have as their theme various genres of music and their respective levels of interpretation. Shown on the ground floor of the gallery is Graham's multi-piece work “Black Tapestry”, which comprises 25 darkly painted-over copies of Carole King's legendary record album “Tapestry”, with which she celebrated her breakthrough in Rock and Pop Music in 1971. Standing in the middle of the room is a cello on an old Persian carpet, an extended version of “Large Rattle” of 2012. This particular musical instrument was custom-made in Italy and is distinguished by the absence of f-holes, which are essential for a cello's fullness of tone. Silver cuff links were incorporated in the belly of the cello as an additional alienation effect.
Displayed on the first floor are new works belonging to Graham's series of “Rock Paintings”. Here the artist processed 1980s material from Circus Magazine, which at that time had been specializing in Hair Metal. The sources of inspiration for Graham's painted-over rock stars were Robert Rauschenberg and Franz West. The principle of the “quote within a quote” is typical of his works. Shown alongside the “Rock Paintings” is one of Graham's famous Lightboxes: “Dead Flowers in my Studio”, a bunch of withered flowers in a vase standing in Rodney Graham's studio: a memento mori of the artist's everyday life.
Born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, in 1949, Rodney Graham today lives and works in Vancouver. Together with Jeff Wall and Stan Douglas he counts among today's leading exponents of the Vancouver School. His itinerant solo exhibition “That's not me” has been on tour in Europe since the beginning of the year. Following the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar the exhibition will be shown at the IMMA in Dublin from the end of November. The Frieder Burda Museum in Baden-Baden will continue to show Graham's monumental Lightboxes until the end of November.