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Robin Rhode
Principle of Hope

2017

$92,000

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. 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 3 volumes in the 1950’s 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.

Details

  • Creator
    Robin Rhode (1976, South African)
  • Creation Year
    2017
  • Dimensions
    Height: 48.03 in. (122 cm)Width: 155.91 in. (396.02 cm)
  • Medium
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: LM255141stDibs: LU94438086982

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  • Shipping

    Ships From: New York, NY
  • 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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