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Wednesday 08.02.06

« First Thursday August 2006 | Main | Avoiding tunnel vision »

Rhoades Tragedy

The art world is abuzz with the sad news that Jason Rhoades has died. Some wrongly allege this happened in Portland. Yes the new non profit I'm working on, Organism, was organizing a soiree with Rhoades for August 12th in Portland. Organism has a short statement on their site but the first place we saw anything "written" on it was art.blogging.la. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and loved ones.


The LA Times has a piece on Rhoades untimely death and points out a number of very important things (you will have to register). Rhoades was a West Coast artist with West Coast sensibilities. His all out assault on puritanical baggage is just one of his legacies, some of the others being his interest in religion, utopian ideas, putting a cosmopolitan sensibility over political correctness and generally making art that wasn't so easily comodified. Where others sought mostly to please, Rhoades would challenge by riding every fence imaginable. By all accounts he was very smart and an intense workaholic. He was really looking forward to the event in Portland and as the LAT mentions, some of the supplies (lube that approximates human bile, etc) that were to be used here will end up in a shrine in Joshua Tree. The curator for the event, Majorie Myers (a close personal friend of the artist) is grieving and as I mentioned before our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Myself, I considered him the most gifted of the recent deluge of artists who utilize inexpensive materials, a leader. He was one of the three main artists who I believe defined that recent trend, Sarah Sze and Rachel Harrison being the other two and he burst on the scene much earlier. Definitely, he's an artist in the lineage of Rauschenberg and Duchamp... his arrival was prophetic. His work was also more demanding than other everyday material artists and side-stepped many of the taming aspects of US museums and gallery conventions, making him all the more important. Overall, if you hadn't experienced the work you had to be there... photos are inadequate. Where others would ride one fence Rhoades would set up 50 more and would have a grand rodeo.

Artforum and Art Net also chime in

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 02, 2006 at 10:20 | Comments (3)


It has been "written about" in today's LA Times:

Posted by: Katherine Bovee [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 08:54 AM

this link might work as well.


Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 09:38 AM

This is quite a loss. Reminds me peculiarly of the loss of Felix Gonzalez-Torres which still haunts me. Mid-career artists right around 40 years old, who are workaholics. Hmmmmmm.

Posted by: TJ Norris [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2006 12:08 PM

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