Davis Rhodes is a New York-based painter, best known for his unusual stripped down paintings, made out of enamel, polyester film and plastic sheet, and his foamboard monolithic panels and vinyl drapes on the walls. Using these mediums, he reproduces symbols derived from the visual setting of the city – posters, banners, and flyers.
Rhodes was born in 1983 in Victoria, Canada. He received his BA from Vassar College in 2005, and MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in 2007.
Davis Rhodes’ multimedia works appropriate and manipulate images from commercial advertisements, in a critical statement about the illusions and artifice of consumer culture. He picks these images from popular and commonplace sources – like hip hop posters, neon signs, and store awnings – and reduces them to unrecognizably angular, abstract shapes, rendered in monochromatic color. Typically printed onto backing made from cheap materials, including foam core, photographic paper, Plexiglas, and vinyl, Rhodes is avoiding only the traditional stretched canvases.
While Rhodes’ earlier work referenced advertising and urban signage, more recent paintings admit this genealogy but deny viewers the simple pleasure of recognition, playing on the tension of an internal and external space. Quietly and concisely, Davis Rhodes tweaks perception using his ephemeral hardedge abstractions, where industrially produced materials lean on the wall, lightweight but heavy with presence. Large freestanding folded boards seem almost ominous, while others, leaning against the walls, give the impression of fragility. Referring to his works as not being a minimalist exercise but rather radical transformation of the materials he is working with, Rhodes describes the feeling in the room as ‘total freedom from hierarchy, alienation or the pressure of identity.’
The shiny, achromatic panels display a proficiency in the visual languages of minimal and post-minimalism, and yet their imperfections – drips, cracks, warps – coupled with their unpretentious material presence deny fluency, imploring the viewer to look elsewhere for these paintings’ similarities. The viewer’s ground becomes as uncertain as that of the artwork he confronts, giving those simplistic pieces of latex and enamel on foamcore his own inner meaning. Rhodes wants his viewers to feel disorientation, to ‘not know where to stand or how to organize themselves from any fixed point in relation to the effects of the work.’
Davis Rhodes has been exhibiting his paintings since 2006, and had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, including shows at the Team Gallery, Grand Street and at the Office Baroque Gallery.
The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
|2013||39 Great Jones||Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich||Group|
|2012||Untitled ‘12||Société, Berlin||Solo|
|2012||Davis Rhodes||Team Gallery, New York||Solo|
|2012||39 Great Jones||New York||Group|
|2012||Trojan Horses||Bugada & Cargnel, Paris||Group|
|2012||Ghosts Before Breakfast||White Flag Projects, St. Louis||Group|
|2011||A Hole is to Dig||Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp||Group|
|2011||Group Exhibition||Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami Beach||Group|
|2011||Gruppenausstellung 2||Max Hans Daniel, Berlin||Group|
|2011||Shapes||Sammlung Haubrok, Berlin||Group|
|2010||Davis Rhodes||Office Baroque, Antwerp||Solo|
|2010||It‘s All American||New Jersey MOCA, New Jersey||Group|
|2009||Untitled ‘09||Team Gallery, New York||Solo|
|2009||Besides, With, Against and Yet: Abstraction and The Ready-Made Gesture||The Kitchen, New York||Group|
|2009||Einarson, Rhodes, Whitney||Team Gallery, New York||Group|
|2009||The Practice of Joy Before Death||Fruit & Flower Deli, New York||Group|
|2008||White Year||ACME and Sister, Los Angeles||Solo|
|2008||New Images - Unisex New Images - Unisex||Kevin Bruk Gallery, Miami||Group|
|2008||Artists of the Gallery||Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp||Group|
|2008||The Art of the Real||Vanmoerkerke Art Collection, Oostende||Group|
|2008||Inaugural Group Show||Cottage Home, Los Angeles||Group|
|2008||Defining a Moment: 25 New York Artists||House of Campari, New York||Group|
|2008||Cube Passerby||Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York||Group|
|2008||Bring me Back a T Shirt||V&A, New York||Group|
|2007||Davis Rhodes||Gallery Casey Kaplan, New York||Solo|
|2007||Jeremy Chance & Tamar Halpern & Davis Rhodes||Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp||Group|
|2007||Tug Boat||Acme @ Domestic, Los Angeles||Group|
|2007||Gimme A Little Sign||Sister, Los Angeles||Group|
|2007||MFA Thesis Exhibition||Columbia University School of the Arts, New York||Group|
|2007||First Look II||Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, New York||Group|