In ‘The Pit’ with Ingrid Schaffner Part 1: ‘Jason Rhoades. Drive’

  • Sat 18 May 2024
  • 3 – 5 pm

Join curator Ingrid Schaffner for an afternoon of informal conversation about ‘Jason Rhoades. DRIVE’ in ‘The Pit’ a space to lounge and linger in the exhibition. ‘DRIVE’ is a yearlong exploration of Rhoades’ art via the subject of cars and car culture.

This event is free. However, due to limited space, reservations are recommended.  
Click here to register. 

Photo: Mario de Lopez

About Ingrid Schaffner 
Internationally admired as a curator, art critic, writer, and educator with nearly four decades of experience in the field of contemporary art, Schaffner is known for her generative and original scholarship focused on themes of archiving and collecting, photography, feminism, and alternate modernisms. Her many significant monographic and thematic exhibitions have brought attention to under-recognized artists and little-explored themes and practices in the art world. Most recently she served as Curator at the Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati in Marfa, Texas, where she oversaw a program of special exhibitions, artist residencies, publications, and new scholarship in concert with the collection established by Donald Judd of permanent installations by artists, including John Chamberlain and Roni Horn.   

Schaffner was the curator of the 57th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2018, where she presented major installations by artists and collectives, including El Anatsui, Alex Da Corte, Zoe Leonard, Postcommodity, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.  From 2000 to 2015, as Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, she led a program that was renowned for its vision, creativity and dedication to artists. Among her many critically acclaimed ICA exhibitions is ‘Four Roads,’ the first major American museum presentation devoted to Jason Rhoades.  

Schaffner’s exhibitions and publications as an independent curator and writer include ‘Deep Storage: Storing, Archiving and Collecting in Art’ (Haus der Kunst/Prestel); ‘Salvador Dalí’s Dream of Venus’ (Princeton Architectural Press); ‘Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery’ (MIT Press); ‘Gloria: Another look at feminist art of the 1970s’ (White Columns); ‘Jess: To and From the Printed Page’ (Independent Curators International) and ‘Chocolate!’ (Swiss Institute). Her contention that writing about art should be lively and engaging as well as acutely researched is the premise of her widely taught essay ‘Wall Text’ (Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative/Reaktion Books). She served for many years on the Graduate Advisory Committee of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College 

About ‘Jason Rhoades. DRIVE’
For Jason Rhoades, the car was a vehicle of artistic pursuit, both readymade sculpture and American idol. Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles dedicates an entire gallery at its Downtown Arts District location to a yearlong exploration of Rhoades’ art via the subject of cars and car culture. ‘DRIVE,’ will unfold over a series of thematic iterations, an ever-changing exhibition of Rhoades’ sculptures, drawings, videos and multiples—enriched by archival materials, public programs and contemporary perspectives. 

Organized as an investigation in real time, ‘DRIVE’ invites people to approach the exhibition like a garage of art and ideas, in which cars are coming and going and tinkering is a productive state of mind. As an artist, Rhoades was keenly attuned to sources of cultural power and weakness. When he put the internal combustion engine on art’s pedestal, was he presciently placing the car where it belongs for a greener tomorrow? The car as a subject in Rhoades’ art continues to drive and trouble the imagination today. 

Known for his art’s driving imagination and ambition, as well as its reckless provocation and overwhelming materiality, Rhoades was a world builder for whom the making of sculptures and the creation of narratives were intertwined. His epic-scaled installations established him as a force of the international art world in the 1990s while based in Los Angeles, where driving is as much a part of daily life as being stuck in traffic. Rhoades grew up engine adept, fixing and driving motorbikes, cars, trucks and other vehicles in rural Northern California. Rhoades studied with Richard Jackson and Paul McCarthy at UCLA, where he earned his MFA in 1993. It was with characteristic pragmatism and brash ludicrousness that he conducted his final lap of art school performing heats in a tiny red Formula One kit car on a miniature racetrack that he constructed out of cardboard. 

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