artist / participant

press release

STEVENSON is pleased to present Paths and Fields, Robin Rhode’s third solo show with the gallery.

Since 2005 Rhode has regularly visited the north of Italy, exhibiting with Tucci Russo, his Italian gallery, and at Castello di Rivoli, a museum of contemporary art in Turin. These trips spark connections with Italian art and in particular artists like Giovanni Anselmo, Giuseppe Penone and Giulio Paulini. These encounters reverberate throughout Rhode’s oeuvre in ways that are sometimes obvious, at other times oblique.

In contrast to his previous two shows, Paries Pictus (2013) and Recycled Matter (2015), this exhibition will be an open-ended amalgamation of new and recent drawings, photographs and video that will highlight Rhode’s craft as a draughtsman, and the influence of his Italian sojourns on his work.

Rhode makes drawings on the spur of the moment, whether he works on paper, canvas, the walls of Johannesburg or the walls inside the gallery. Like a musician, Rhode filters ideas through well-trained hands with muscle memory and motor skill built up over two decades. He acts like a composer in assembling this exhibition, bringing together individual pieces that range from the peculiar, muted and elusive to the expressive, effervescent and even boisterous.

In a recent conversation with Andrea Bellini, Rhode says:

I am a huge believer in the imaginative aspect allowing us to tackle certain themes, ideas, possibilities, which we probably would not encounter and engage with in our daily lives. The innocence of youth plays a major role in my work, this line of lyricism begins there.

Paths and Fields manifests this buoyancy of thought and decisiveness of form. By combining new works, newly edited footage Rhode filmed in post-Katrina New Orleans, and previously made charcoal sculptures that will be used to draw onto the walls of the gallery, this exhibition shows a maturing artist at the height of his abilities, revealing a newfound freedom and playfulness.

The exhibition will open on Thursday 26 January, 6-8pm.