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b. 1949, Canada

Rodney Graham Biography

Rodney Graham pulls at the threads of cultural and intellectual history through photography, film, music, performance and painting. He presents cyclical narratives that pop with puns and references to literature and philosophy, from Lewis Carroll to Sigmund Freud to Kurt Cobain, with a sense of humour that betrays Graham’s footing in the post-punk scene of late 1970s Vancouver. The nine-minute loop Vexation Island, 1997, presents the artist as a 17th-century sailor, lying unconscious under a coconut tree with a bruise on his head; after eight and a half minutes he gets up and shakes the tree inducing a coconut to fall and knock him out, and for the sequence to start again. Graham returns as a cowboy in How I Became a Ramblin’ Man, 1999, and as both city dandy and country bumpkin in City Self/Country Self, 2001 – fictional characters all engaged in an endless loop of activity. Such dream states and the ramblings of the unconscious are rooted in Graham’s earlier upside-down photographs of oak trees. Inversion, Graham explains, has a logic: ‘You don’t have to delve very deeply into modern physics to realise that the scientific view holds that the world is really not as it appears. Before the brain rights it, the eye sees a tree upside down in the same way it appears on the glass back of the large format field camera I use,’ 2005.

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Rodney Graham was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada in 1949. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1971 and lives and works in Vancouver. Solo exhibitions include Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2010, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, 2004, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2002, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2001, and Kunsthalle Wien, 1999. He has participated in group exhibitions such as the 13th, 14th and 17th Sydney Biennales (2002, 2006, 2010), the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006) and the Biennale d’Art contemporain de Lyon, France (2003). He represented Canada at the 47th Venice Biennale (1997) and among awards he has receiived the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, Toronto (2004), the Kurt Schwitters-Preis, Niedersächsiche Sparkassenstiftung, Germany (2006) and the Audain Prize for lifetime achievement in visual arts, British Columbia (2011).

Text courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Rodney Graham Featured Artworks

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Coat Puller by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamCoat Puller, 2017Painted aluminium lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency
270.8 x 181.9 x 17.8 cm
Lisson Gallery Contact Gallery
Leaping Hermit by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamLeaping Hermit, 2011Three painted aluminium lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies
232.4 x 181.6 cm
Lisson Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamUntitled, 2020Oil and sand on canvas, walnut frame
33 1/4 x 27 1/8 x 1 7/8 inches
Lisson Gallery Contact Gallery
Dead Flowers in My Studio 3 by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamDead Flowers in My Studio 3, 2017Painted aluminium lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency
121 x 98.1 x 17.8 cm
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle Contact Gallery
untitled (no. 1-12) by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney Grahamuntitled (no. 1-12), 2014Ink (with pipe cleaners and traditional brushes) on watercolour paper
37.7 x 27.5 cm
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle Contact Gallery
Dead Flowers in My Studio by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamDead Flowers in My Studio, 2009Painted aluminum lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency
132.2 x 103.2 x 17.8 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Artist’s Model Posing For ‘The Old Bugler, Among the Fallen, Battle of Beaune-Roland, 1870’ In The Studio Of An Unknown Military Painter, Paris, 1885 by Rodney Graham contemporary artwork
Rodney GrahamArtist’s Model Posing For ‘The Old Bugler, Among the Fallen, Battle of Beaune-Roland, 1870’ In The Studio Of An Unknown Military Painter, Paris, 1885, 2009Painted aluminum lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency
Variable dimensions
Not for sale
Duddell's

Rodney Graham Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, (SELF) PORTRAITS at Parkett, Zurich
Open Now
22 February–18 July 2020 Group Exhibition (SELF) PORTRAITS ParkettZurich Exhibition Space
Contemporary art exhibition, Rodney Graham, Painting Problems at Lisson Gallery, London
Closed
6–20 May 2020 Rodney Graham Painting Problems Lisson GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
Closed
17 November–21 December 2018 Group Exhibition Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers Hauser & WirthZürich

Rodney Graham Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Lisson Street, London, United Kingdom Lisson Gallery London, New York, Shanghai

Rodney Graham In Ocula Magazine

The Armory Show 2020 Ocula Photolog The Armory Show 2020

The Armory Show (5–8 March) features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions, and dynamic public programs. The 2020 edition of The Armory Show, welcomes 183 exhibitors from 32 countries, convening Midtown Manhattan at Piers 90 and 94.

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Bob Rennie Ocula Conversation Bob Rennie By Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

In Vancouver's Chinatown, an area wedged between the gleaming office towers of the city's affluent West End and the city’s poorest neighbourhood, Downtown Eastside, is a gallery showcasing work from one of the world’s leading private collections. Housed in a restored iteration of Chinatown’s oldest building, the...

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Alan Lo Ocula Conversation Alan Lo

Active in promoting art and design in Hong Kong, Alan Lo is the Chairman of Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, sits on the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and was a member of Art HK’s advisory group.  Lo is also a co-founder and director of Hong Kong-based Press Room Group, owner and operator of various well-known restaurants and...

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Rodney Graham In Related Press

Artists from Turkey navigate history, memory, and authorship Related Press Artists from Turkey navigate history, memory, and authorship 16 February 2016, Hyperallergic

Alt, which translates to “under,” is Istanbul’s newest space for contemporary art. After descending a staircase at Bomontiada, (a compound of sorts that includes Alt, a music venue, a café, a restaurant, architecture studios, and several other planned ventures), you are immediately aware that you’re in a windowless cellar...

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