Rashid Johnson

United States 1977

Installation, Photography

Rashid Johnson
Rashid Johnson
United States
December 28, 2014

Rashid Johnson is an African-American socio-political photographer born in 1977 who produces Conceptual Post-black art. In addition to photography, he presents audio, video and sculpture art. Rashid received his BFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2000, and an MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005.

After obtaining his Master’s degree, he moved to the Lower East Side in New York City, where he taught at the Pratt Institute. Johnson followed a generation of black artists who focused on the “black experience” and he grew up in a generation that was influenced by Hip Hop and Black Entertainment Television. Johnson has garnered national attention for both his unusual subject matter and for his process of creation. In addition to portrait photography, Johnson is known for his use of a 19th-century process that uses Van Dyke brown, a transparent organic pigment, and exposure to the sunlight. He achieves a painterly feel with his prints with the application of pigment using broad brush strokes.

Johnson had numerous exhibitions and his most controversial one was entitled Chickenbones and Watermelon Seeds: The African American Experience as Abstract Art. The subject matter was a series of stereotypical African-American food culture items such as watermelon seeds, black-eyed peas, chicken bones, and cotton seeds placed directly onto photographic paper and exposed to light using an iron-reactive process. In 2002, he exhibited at the Sunrise Museum in Charleston, West Virginia. The exhibit, entitled Manumission Papers, was named for the papers that freed slaves were required to keep to prove their freedom. The exhibition was described as being as much a cultural commentary as an imagery display, and it related to the previous Chickenbones exhibit. Also in 2002 he exhibited his homeless men in the Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University. The exhibition title was Seeing in the Dark. In conjunction with the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, he exhibited The Evolution of the Negro Political Costume in 2004.

His work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, DC, the Institute of Contemporary Photography, New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His art is in the collections of most of these museums, and he is represented by art dealers in Milan, Naples, New York City and Chicago. By 2000, his work was held by the Studio Museum in Harlem, and by 2001 he had two photographs in the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to NowMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2015Rashid Johnson - SmileHauser & Wirth - London, LondonSolo
2015The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal WorldMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2015Daily MemoriesKunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen Magdeburg, MagdeburgGroup
2015Body DoublesMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2015Music palace. The power of music seen by visual artistsVilla Empain - Boghossian Foundation, BrusselsGroup
2015Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract PaintingLos Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015Man in the MirrorVanhaerents Art Collection, BrusselsGroup
2014Rashid Johnson Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur Solo
2014Rashid Johnson - IslandsDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Rashid Johnson: new growthMuseum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, COSolo
2014Cross Section: Recent AcquisitionsMills College Art Museum, Oakland, CAGroup
2014transgression - PhilaraSammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst, DusseldorfGroup
2014The Brask CollectionMunkeruphus, DronningmølleGroup
2014Facets of Modern and Contemporary GlassKnoxville Museum of Art (KMA), Knoxville, TNGroup
2014Home sculptureMassimo De Carlo London, LondonGroup
201430 AmericansContemporary Arts Center New Orleans - CAC, New Orleans, LAGroup
2013Rashid Johnson - The Gathering Hauser & Wirth - Zürich, Zurich Solo
2013Message to Our FolksKemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, MOSolo
2013Rashid Johnson - Remembering D.B. CooperMoniquemeloche, Chicago, ILSolo
2013Rashid Johnson - New GrowthBallroom Marfa, Marfa, TXSolo
2013Farewell RodneySommer Contemporary Art, Tel AvivSolo
2013MarginaliaHessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College,Annandale-on-Hudson, NYGroup
2013Performa 13Performa, New York City, NYGroup
201330 AmericansFrist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TNGroup
2013Young CollectorsMaison Particulière, BrusselsGroup
201330 AmericansMilwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2013Personal, political, mysteriousFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2013Out of MemoryMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Passive AggressiveMassimo De Carlo Milan, MilanGroup
2013White Collar CrimesAcquavella Galleries, Inc., New York City, NYGroup
201310 Years 10 ArtistsAnnarumma Gallery, NaplesGroup
2013PortalMcClain Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2013CollectionTomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoGroup
2013Heinzmann Johnson ZippGalerie Guido W. Baudach, BerlinGroup
2012Rashid JohnsonSLG South London Gallery, LondonSolo
2012Coup d'étatDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012Rashid JohnsonMAM - Miami Art Museum, Miami, FLSolo
2012Rashid Johnson: Message to Our FolksMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILSolo
2012Rashid Johnson - Rumble Hauser & Wirth - New York, 69th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2012Heute. MalereiKunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen Magdeburg, MagdeburgGroup
20129th Shanghai BiennaleShanghai Biennale, ShanghaiGroup
2012Muse: Exploring InspirationRichard Gray Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2012Rashid Johnson & Theaster GatesTwig Gallery, BrusselsGroup
2012Things Beyond Our ControlFredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2012Group ExhibitionCurator's Office, Washington, DCGroup
2012Spectral Landscape (with Viewing Stations)Gallery 400 - University of Illinois at Chicago,Chicago, ILGroup
201230 AmericansChrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VAGroup
2012Brucennial 2012 - Harder. Betterer. Fasterer. StrongererBrucennial, New York City, NYGroup
2012You, your sun and shadowVCUarts Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2011American exuberanceRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2011Painting is a Painting is a PaintingInitial Access Frank Cohen Collection, WolverhamptonGroup
2011The Bearden ProjectThe Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup
2011Sociétés secrètes - Savoir, oser, vouloir, garder le silenceCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain,BordeauxGroup
2011Oh!Massimo De Carlo Milan, MilanGroup
2011OH!Galerie Patrick Seguin, ParisGroup
201130 AmericansThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2011There are two sides to every coin, and two sides to your faceGalerie Xippas France, ParisGroup
2011Threat and DegradationRichard Gray Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge CollectionTate Modern, LondonGroup
2011A.D.D. Attention Deficit DesorderPalazzo Lucarini Contemporary, TreviGroup
2011GeheimgesellschaftenSchirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, MainGroup
2011Biennale di Venezia - 54th International Art ExhibitionLa Biennale di Venezia, VeniceGroup
2011Livingroom ExoticaKunsthaus Glarus, GlarusGroup
2011DwellingMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Rashid Johnson - 25 Days After OctoberMassimo De Carlo Milan, MilanSolo
2010Rashid Johnson - There are Stranger VillagesGalerie Guido W. Baudach, BerlinSolo
2010Rashid Johnson - Between Nothingness And EternityExtra Content Olivier Mosset - Massimo De Carlo London, LondonSolo
2010Our Kind Of PeopleSalon 94, New York City, NYSolo
2010David Adamo, Heather Cook, Brendan Fowler, Rashid Johnson, Phil WagnerUntitled, New York City, NY Group
2010Group ExhibitionRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010About UsJohann König, BerlinGroup
2010Lush Life - Shell be ApplesEleven Rivington, New York City, NYGroup
2010Lush LifeCollette Blanchard Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Lush LifeLehmann Maupin, New York City, NYGroup
2010TXT artists investigating languageJames Harris Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2010ITEMMitchell-Innes & Nash - West Street, New York City, NYGroup
2010Lush Life - Chapter One: WhistleSue Scott Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Mirror MirrorJames Harris Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2010LEANNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Rashid Johnson - Other AspectsDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2009Smoke and MirrorsSculptureCenter, New York City, NYSolo
2009Rashid Johnson -- The Dead Lecturer: Laboratory, Dojo, and Performance SpacePower House Memphis, Memphis, TNSolo
2009Amor FatiGalerie Guido W. Baudach, BerlinGroup
2009Beg Borrow and StealRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2009Herd ThinnerCharest-Weinberg Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
200930 Seconds off an InchThe Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup
2009Performa 09Performa, New York City, NYGroup
2009Under ControlKrannert Art Museum, Champaign, ILGroup
2009Dress Codes: Clothing as MetaphorKatonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NYGroup
200920 YEARS: We gave a party for the gods and the Gods all cameNicole Klagsbrun Gallery,New York City, NYGroup
2009Group ShowRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Group ExhibitionNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Across the Divide: Reconsidering the OtherIllinois State Museum, Chicago Gallery , Chicago, ILGroup
2009The EndThe Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PAGroup
2008The New Escapist Promised Land Garden and Recreation CenterMoniquemeloche, Chicago, ILSolo
2008Rashid Johnson: Cosmic SlopsRichard Gray Gallery, Chicago, ILSolo
2008Rashid Johnson - Newgro - sharpening my oyster knifeKunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen Magdeburg, MagdeburgSolo
2008Rashid JohnsonNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2008DarknessAnnarumma Gallery, NaplesGroup
200830 AmericansRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2008Creswell CragsLisa Cooley Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2008Summer Mixtape Volume 1: the Get Smart editionExit Art, New York City, NYGroup
2008Zero ZoneTracy Williams, Ltd, New York City, NYGroup
2008Defining a Moment: 25 New York ArtistsHouse of Campari, New York City, NYGroup
2008Gravity. Colección Ernesto EspositoARTIUM, Basque Museum Center of Contemporary Art,Vitoria-Gasteiz Group
2008Recent Acquisitions: Focus on ChicagoMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2007Dark MattersJames Harris Gallery, Seattle, WASolo
2007THE COLOR LINEJack Shainman Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007How Do I Look?Moniquemeloche, Chicago, ILGroup
2007Out of ArtKunsthaus CentrePasquArt - Centre d'Art, Biel, BienneGroup
2007Look into the Rays…Moniquemeloche, Chicago, ILGroup
2006A noir, e blanc, i rouge, u vert, o bleuFarben - Kunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen Magdeburg, MagdeburgGroup
2006LOOK INTO THE RAYS OF THE NEW SOLAR SUN RISINGGalerie Markus Winter, BerlinGroup
2006Scarecrow Postmasters Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Rashid JohnsonAnnarumma Gallery, NaplesSolo
2005Rashid JohnsonMoniquemeloche, Chicago, ILSolo
2005Rashid JohnsonIndianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art - iMOCA, Indianapolis, INSolo
2005Napoli presente. Posizioni e prospettive dell’arte contemporaneaPAN - Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli, NaplesGroup
2005Pan SonicNIU Art Museum - Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, ILGroup
2005Harlem PostcardsThe Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup
2005WishCoCA - Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WAGroup
2005IBCA Biennale 2005IBCA - International Biennale of Contemporary Art, PragueGroup
2005Things Fall ApartMoniquemeloche, Chicago, ILGroup
2005Not too Loose and Not too TightDCKT Contemporary, New York City, NYGroup
2004A Perfect Union ... More or LessThe Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago,Chicago, ILGroup
2004About Face - Photographic Portraits from the CollectionThe Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
2003RASHID JOHNSON - "The Rise and Fall of a Proper Negro"Moniquemeloche, Chicago, ILSolo
2003The Squared CircleWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
200212x12 - Rashid JohnsonMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILSolo
2002Cut, Pulled, Colored & BurntHyde Park Art Center, Chicago, ILGroup
2001Acquisitions In Contemporary ArtThe Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OHGroup
2001FreestyleThe Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup