Rodney Graham is a Canadian Contemporary artist who recently had an online exhibition at the Lisson Gallery. The concept for this exhibition was inspired by Graham’s four-paneled 2018 light box painting entitled ‘Vacuuming the Gallery, 1949’ which depicts a mid-century art dealer vacuuming his gallery. The works within this painting would be considered radical pieces of art for the post WWII time period, which inspired the rest of the pieces for Graham’s exhibition.
Grahm’s work is laid down on a canvas that is primed with gesso and sand. This makes for an interesting texture to start with. Then he paints over the top with oil and creates a sense of other textures. He uses patterns and shapes of a cubist nature. These designs are very simplistic at first glance. When you look closer you find that he was able to use the rough texture to help with giving the shapes in his design the third dimension. You feel as if you can see right through some of the large shapes of colors.
I personally enjoy the works displayed in this exhibition, it may be because I have done things in a cubist format myself. At first glance, they reminded me of colleagues with the way that he was able to make the shapes jump off of the canvas. I found pleasure and serenity in the colors that he used as well it was very enjoyable to see. I would one day hope to see his work in person.
The Vacuuming the Gallery, 1949 is interesting as well the idea of making paintings into light-boxes is a great idea. This Painting has a way of making you feel like you are outside looking into the gallery. With that being said I feel like the other works don’t go with this painting. Yes, there are abstract works on the wall behind the man vacuuming, but why would that gallery owner put what the work he was selling outside? I will go with he just was looking for a reason to show the work. I might do the same thing.
Thanks for reading and click the link below to view the gallery!