Rashid Johnson

Born in Chicago in 1977, Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, matenality, and critical history. Johnson received a BA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago and studied for his masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Johnson’s practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media–including sculpture, painting, drawing, film making, and installation yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history. Johnsons work is known for its narrative embedding of a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing aspects of history and cultural identity. In Johnson’s Untitled Bust series the vessels’ glazed surfaces provide Johnson with an intimate forum for painterly and sculptural investigation. Echoing the unique hand-painted tiles incorporated in the artist’s new mosaic paintings, Johnson explores his anxious and broken men in three dimensions. These ceramic sculptures by Johnson take on a shamanistic quality. The vessels form a framework and can be perceived as an ecosystem for forms of life, drawing on the themes of nature and botany which appear in the artist’s past works.

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