Jason Rhoades

DRIVE

27 February 2024 – 14 January 2025

Downtown Los Angeles

‘By going between places, [the car] will generate things. It’ll snowball, take on a mythology and a history, and then at some point it’ll just stop. And that’ll be it, it’ll be a finished sculpture.’—Jason Rhoades (1998) for Artforum

Hauser & Wirth thanks Hans Ulrich Obrist for the interview with Jason Rhoades, captured while driving around Los Angeles in 1998.

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.

4 May – 16 June 2024

The Pit

The Pit is the second iteration of DRIVE. An influx of archival materials are key to unpacking the various episodes of Rhoades’ Car Projects, starting with the Caprice and the 1996 exhibition ‘Traffic.’ Not only did the artist cut a deal with CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France the organizers of the show, to go in on buying him the car as a transactional work of art, he later leveraged its symbolic value by trading the Caprice for a Ferrari.

Sat 18 May, 3 – 5 pm

In ‘The Pit’ with Ingrid Schaffner Part 1

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.

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

Sat 8 June 4 – 5 pm

In Performance: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste’s ‘Unmarked Car (S.L.A.B.), pt. 2’

Join us for a performance by Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste on the occasion of ‘Jason Rhoades. DRIVE’. Toussaint-Baptiste’s mobile sculpture is a decommissioned Ford Crown Victoria—with tinted windows and a carceral security barrier—that has been transformed from an object of surveillance and violence into a low-frequency musical instrument and amplifier of Black cultural practice.

Audience members may experience the event from outside of the vehicle or in the driver’s seat. A conversation with the artist will follow.

This event is free, however, reservations are recommended.

Taking the Museum Out for a Spin

In the summer of 1998, Jason Rhoades parked a burgundy Chevrolet Impala SS on the plaza of the Kunsthaus Zurich, where it represented his participation in a group show and performed in a number of ways: It was an outdoor sculpture, a museum for the collection of 'minor works by major artists', and it was, at the end of the day, also a car.

2 July – 18 August 2024

The Racetrack

This summer the exhibition’s focus will swerve onto The Racetrack. A set of half-scale NASCAR-style cars, custom jackets and colorfully painted tire barriers are among what remains of ‘The Snowball.’ Staged in California as a daylong racing event at Willow Springs speedway, ‘The Snowball’ was ultimately destined for the 2000 Venice Biennale and Rhoades’ collaborative work for the Danish Pavilion.

September 2024 – 14 January 2025

The Garage

In September, The Garage will cover the final stretch of ‘DRIVE’ with a selection of framed works on paper and a major sculptural installation.

IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

27 February – 28 April 2024

The Parking Space

‘DRIVE’ opened with The Parking Space, featuring a Chevrolet Caprice and Impala, a Ferrari 328 GTS and a Ligier microcar, parked in the gallery alongside a projection in which Rhoades fervidly discoursed on his concept of the Car Projects while driving around Los Angeles. Recorded in a 1998 video interview with the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rhoades explained the relationship of cars to his art (parking is equated with sitting in a sculpture) and to daily practice (driving between the house, the studio and stores is time and space for the mind to race and wander). He expounded on cars as icons of art history (Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia speeded modern art forward with their mechanized abstractions), identifiers of class (you are what you drive) and environments of control. The radio was tuned to Power 106 FM and as the world streamed by to the propulsive hip-hop beat, the romance of cars seemed irresistible.

Exhibition Programming

CRASH: A Film Series Curated by Elvis Mitchell for ‘Jason Rhoades. DRIVE’

The first in a series of public exhibition programs, ‘CRASH’ a car-centered film series curated by the film critic and writer Elvis Mitchell took place over five consecutive Wednesdays, from March 13 to April 10, 2024. Films were shown in the exhibition gallery with viewers seated amongst the cars that Rhoades considered readymade works of art.  

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.

On view in Downtown Los Angeles

‘Jason Rhoades. DRIVE’ is on view now through 14 January 2025 at Hauser & Wirth Downtown Los Angeles. Please visit our location page to plan your visit.

About the Artists

Jason Rhoades

Jason Rhoades (1965 – 2006) was a visionary artist and world builder for whom sculpture and myth were intertwined forms of construction. His epic assemblage installations established him as a force of the international art world in the 1990s, while based in Los Angeles. America was his art’s imaginative subject,...

Henry Taylor

Henry Taylor vit et travaille à Los Angeles (Californie). Son oeuvre a récemment été présentée aux États-Unis dans le cadre des expositions collectives ‘I’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times’ à l’Institut d’art contemporain (ICA) de Boston et ‘Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America’ au New Museum...

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