Winfred Rembert

Hard Times

30 May – 25 August 2024

Downtown Los Angeles

Working in his signature medium of carved and painted leather, late American artist Winfred Rembert (1945 – 2021) dedicated the last thirty years of his life to creating a striking visual memoir. The consistently powerful and original oeuvre he left behind is a testament to the improvisational skill, determination and resilience required of a visionary shaped by a lifetime of extreme adversity. On 30 May, when Hauser & Wirth debuts the first–ever Los Angeles exhibition devoted to Rembert at its Downtown Arts District complex, West Coast audiences will finally have the opportunity to experience his story, told with both beauty and brutality.

The exhibition will present two of the artist’s foundational series—the Cotton Field and Chain Gang paintings. These collections encapsulate two harrowing but formative chapters in Rembert’s life, reflecting his upbringing on a sharecropping field and his labor on a prison chain gang in the American South during Jim Crow. At once figural and abstract, Rembert’s compositions, vibrant color blocks and corporeal texture introduce the radical potential of tooled leather.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a presentation of love letters written between Rembert and his wife Patsy, who was instrumental in his survival of trauma and subsequent development as an artist. Their incredible exchange, shared here with the public for the first time, documents their affection and hope which grew while Rembert was incarcerated from 1965 to 1974.

Join us for the opening reception on Thursday 30 May, 6 – 8 pm.

Image: Winfred Rembert, Hard Times, 2003 © 2024 The Estate of Winfred Rembert / ARS NY. Courtesy the Estate, Hauser & Wirth and Fort Gansevoort. Private Collection of Michelle and Joseph Pratt

About the Artist

Winfred Rembert

Winfred Rembert (1945 – 2021) was born in Americus, Georgia and grew up in nearby Cuthbert, a rural railroad town located in the southwest region of the state, once at the center of the Deep South’s plantation economy. Living in Cuthbert during the era of Jim Crow, Rembert was exposed...

Current Exhibitions