HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
 

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition

digital exhibition tour: with the online HAUSER & WIRTH exhibition ‘untitled anxious red drawings,’ american artist rashid johnson introduces a selection of new works made since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. using oil stick on cotton rag paper, the artist has here updated the visual language of his long-established ‘anxious men’ series, in which deceptively crude archetypal faces express the fundamental tensions and traumas that course through contemporary life. by departing from his signature use of black wax to adopt a blood red medium for the first time in this well-known series, johnson captures the ‘life and death’ urgency of an unprecedented moment that is now both separating and connecting communities around the globe. his ‘anxious red drawings’ could be read as history paintings for our times.

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 76.2 x 55.9 cm / 30 x 22 in
all images © rashid johnson, courtesy the artist and hauser & wirth

 

 

whereas johnson’s ‘anxious men’ series has been characterized by faces scratched into the pictorial surface in a kind of drawing through erasure, his new anxious red drawings employ only the direct application of intense color. the repeated motif in his new works suggest both the ongoing context of global instability and a new reality to which everyone must bear witness and in which everyone must participate.

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 97.2 x 127 cm / 38 1/4 x 50 in

 

 

johnson’s frenetically drawn, iconic faces confront the viewer with a visceral immediacy. in this respect, the medium of drawing is critical for johnson. ‘I’ve never thought of drawings as a precursor to a more substantial object,’ he has said. ‘I’ve always thought of drawings as objects that are final’. at a time when the world has come to a standstill, johnson reflects on the solitary nature of his practice and the autonomy that comes with drawing, he describes social distance as deeply complicated yet familiar as he is used to working alone. in this respect, he says, ‘it has not changed much for my drawings, but it has changed my thinking’.

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 97.2 x 127 cm / 38 1/4 x 50 in

 

 

rashid johnson will donate 10% of his proceeds of the sale of works from this exhibition to the covid-19 solidarity response fund for the world health organization, matching HAUSER & WIRTH’s commitment to support the fund through donation of 10% of its gross profits from all online exhibitions, as part of the gallery’s ongoing #artforbetter initiative.

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 97.2 x 127 cm / 38 1/4 x 50 in

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 76.2 x 55.9 cm / 30 x 22 in

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 76.2 x 55.9 cm / 30 x 22 in

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 97.2 x 127 cm / 38 1/4 x 50 in

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
untitled anxious red drawing | 2020 | oil on cotton rag | 97.2 x 127 cm / 38 1/4 x 50 in

HAUSER & WIRTH presents rashid johnson's 'anxious red drawings' in online exhibition
rashid johnson with his work ‘untitled anxious red drawing’, 2020

 

 

exhibition info:

 

title: untitled anxious red drawings
artist: rashid johnson
gallery: HAUSER & WIRTH
live date: april 16, 2020
location: online

 

edited by nina azzarello

 

we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see digital exhibition tours here, and project submissions from designboom readers here.

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