January 21 - March 11, 2017
Since the 1980s, Vancouver-based artist Rodney Graham has grown his diverse practice to encompass photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and music. As actor, performer, producer, historian, writer, poet, sound engineer and musician, Graham shifts seamlessly into different roles and characters. For his exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Graham presents a new series of his signature photographic lightbox works – elaborate, allegorical and witty compositions focusing on his use of the self-portrait to explore scenarios from our collective cultural memory. In addition, two new collage series that reference Graham’s artistic personae and career as musician are displayed for the first time. The presentation precedes the artist’s retrospective at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England in March 2017, subsequently travelling to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland.
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With a practice spanning five decades, Canadian artist Rodney Graham (1949 – 2022) operated through systems of quotation, reference and adaptation. From the 1980s, Graham expanded his diverse oeuvre to encompass photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and music. As actor, performer, producer, historian, writer, poet, sound engineer and musician, Graham’s art examined the complexities of Western culture through strategies of disguise, as he shifted seamlessly into different roles and characters. Casting himself as a succession of motley characters, Graham inhabited different personae, genres and art forms for the duration of his career. ‘It may be a burden to reinvent oneself every time,’ Graham said, ‘but it makes things more interesting.’