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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 23.03 in. x W 31.5 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 23.03 in. x W 31.5 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 23.03 in. x W 31.5 in.
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Robin Rhode
Square Triptych

2009

$55,000

About

Robin Rhode (b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa; lives and works in Berlin) engages photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture in creating visual narratives that are brought to life using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint. Rhode came of age in the newly post-apartheid South Africa and was exposed to new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual rather than dictated by a political or social agenda. The growing influence of hip-hop, film, and popular sports on youth culture as well as the community’s reliance on storytelling in the form of colorful murals encouraged the development of Rhode’s hybrid street-based aesthetic. Rhode is best known for his photographic series that document a sole protagonist interacting with murals the artist painted on public walls in Johannesburg and Berlin. In the succession of photographs, the movements of the actor appear to alter the two-dimensional renderings, compressing space and time and transforming the urban landscape into a fictional storyboard. Melding individual expressionism with broader socioeconomic concerns, Rhode’s work reveals a mastery of illusion, a rich range of historical and contemporary references, and an innate skill for blending high and low art forms. This work is inspired by Jean-Victor Poncelet, who was a French engineer and mathematician who served with great distinction as the commandant general of the École Polytechnique near Paris in the 19th Century. Poncelet is credited for reviving the study of projective geometry, and his work 'Traité des propriétés projectives des figures,' published in 1822 is considered the first definitive paper on the subject since Gérard Desargues' work on the same subject in the 17th century. Captured in Napoleon's disastrous invasion of the Russian Empire when serving as a military engineer in 1812, Poncelet was confined to Saratov prison camp until 1814, and conquered the boredom of his imprisonment by aligning a number of disorganized non-Euclidian insights into a new branch of projective geometry. Projective geometry aims to study the properties of geometric shapes that stay unchanged when seen from a distance. One example: when the eye looks into a pyramid that contains a seemingly chaotic arrangement of two-toned cards, one darker than the other, the eye sees an orderly pattern occur due to the angle at which 'chaotic shapes and forms' is projected through space and time to the eye. Here, the human body acts as a conductor of visual experience, seeing order in chaos. This work is closely related to the artist's work ‘Restless Mind.’

Details

  • Creator
    Robin Rhode (1976, South African)
  • Creation Year
    2009
  • Dimensions
    Height: 23.03 in. (58.5 cm)Width: 31.5 in. (80.01 cm)
  • More Editions & Sizes
    Edition of 5Price: $55,000
  • Medium
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: LM321291stDibs: LU94438086972

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Artist

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode engages photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture in creating visual narratives that are brought to life using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint.

Rhode came of age in the newly post-apartheid South Africa and was exposed to new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual rather than dictated by a political or social agenda. The growing influence of hip hop, film, and popular sports on youth culture as well as the community’s reliance on storytelling in the form of colorful murals encouraged the development of Rhode’s hybrid street-based aesthetic.

Rhode is best known for his photographic series that document a sole protagonist interacting with murals the artist painted on public walls in Johannesburg and Berlin. In the succession of photographs, the movements of the actor appear to alter the two-dimensional renderings, compressing space and time and transforming the urban landscape into a fictional storyboard. Melding individual expressionism with broader socioeconomic concerns, Rhode’s work reveals a mastery of illusion, a rich range of historical and contemporary references, and an innate skill for blending high and low art forms.

Using the street corner as his studio, Principle of Hope is photographed against a ruined wall in a township in Johannesburg. Here, the glimmer of an answer resides in geometry – the necessary illusion of perfectibility. A spiral wall is rendered in painted grey tones to create the visual impression of heavy stacked concrete bricks. The painted concrete spiral evolves upwards towards a blue sky, a metaphor for an imaginary utopia. Moving between abstract speculation and visceral record, the artwork takes as a point of reference the philosopher Ernst Bloch’s book published in three volumes in the 1950s titled The Principle of Hope in which the author explores utopian impulses present in art, literature, religion and other forms of cultural expression, and envisages a future state of absolute perfection.

Find original Robin Rhode art on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Lehmann Maupin)

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