Rashid Johnson: Stranger

Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, United Kingdom
27 May 2017 - 10 Sep 2017

Hauser & Wirth Somerset presents ‘Rashid Johnson. Stranger’

Hauser & Wirth Somerset presents ‘Rashid Johnson. Stranger’

Hauser & Wirth Somerset presents ‘Rashid Johnson. Stranger’, following the artist’s two-month long residency at the gallery. Rashid Johnson employs a wide range of materials and images to explore themes of art history, literature, philosophy, and personal and cultural identity. His exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Somerset unfolds throughout the entire gallery, with a combination of painting, sculpture, installation, and drawing, all completed during his residency.

The exhibition takes its title from an essay ‘Stranger in the Village’ by James Baldwin. Originally published in Harper’s Magazine in 1953, it is the account of Baldwin’s experiences as a young African-American man, living in a small village in Switzerland.

The artist makes use of many Afrocentric materials which comes at first from his personal experience; he was raised in the suburbs of Chicago in an Afrocentric home where these substances were regularly used. Johnson is interested in how these products, such as shea butter, have been used by African-Americans to connect with an idea of Africanness. Whilst he does have an engagement with these materials on the level of what he refers to as ‘cultural signifiers’, he views their employment in his work as simultaneously closely aligned to modernist influences, when artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque explored the aesthetics of African art.

Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL, UK