First published on 13 June 2018
Rashid Johnson at Unlimited, Art Basel 2018
Rashid Johnson’s large grid installation Antoine’s Organ (2016) injects a sprawling, heterogeneous ecosystem into a rigid armature of black steel scaffolding. Visually evoking prison cells and Sol LeWitt’s open Minimalist cubes alike, Antoine’s Organ plays on the structure of the grid and the form’s associations with containment, rigor, and organisation. Building upon these constraints as it subverts them, Johnson’s latticed construction teems with a lively bricolage of potted plants, shea butter busts, video monitors playing looped films, ornate rugs, music, carefully selected stacks of books, and a fully functioning piano. Johnson’s soaring sculptural installation functions through organic accumulation, growth, and the delight of unexpected elements meeting.