This major exhibition of Canadian artist Rodney The Art Gallery of Ontario is proud to present the exhibition Rodney Graham: A Little Thought from March 31 to June 27, 2004. This engaging survey celebrates one of Canada’s most innovative and internationally renowned contemporary artists, with an in-depth examination of the evolution of his film, video and sound works during his 30-year career.
This first major North American tour of works by Rodney Graham is jointly organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Graham’s works have been widely shown throughout Canada and Europe, including such international contemporary art events as Documenta and the 1997 Venice Biennale, where he represented Canada. A major survey of his works was presented in London in 2002 and then travelled to Dusseldorf and Marseilles.
Rodney Graham: A Little Thought begins its tour at the Art Gallery of Ontario. “The AGO is pleased to play a leadership role with the MOCA, L.A. and the Vancouver Art Gallery in organizing this North American tour,” said AGO Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum. “The partnership among the three institutions is a testament to the importance of Graham’s work.”
Rodney Graham is known as a master at mixing a wide variety of mediums, and his multi-disciplinary breadth of work – including his song writing and musical performances – has often been cited as an inspiration to emerging contemporary artists. Rodney Graham: A Little Thought features 24 works, including seven major audio-visual installations and two new film works. The exhibition also includes props, notes, scripts and audio works that enhance the understanding of Graham’s approaches to landscape, literature and sound.
The exhibition introduces audiences to Graham’s trademark of weaving familiar pop cultural references into his work. Graham investigates the specific roots of modernism, creatively splicing fact with fiction. His photo diptych Fishing on a Jetty (2000), in which he portrays Cary Grant’s role in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, and the film installation City Self/Country Self (2000), in which he plays a dual role – country bumpkin and urbane, bourgeois dandy – are a testimony to Graham’s wit. His most recognized cinematic work, Vexation Island (1997), is a Treasure Island-like vignette starring the artist in full period costume. In his latest installation Rheinmetall/Victoria 8 (2003), the star of the silent film is a 1930s typewriter projected on the wall by a huge 1960s 35 mm projector.
After its debut in Toronto, Rodney Graham: A Little Thought will travel to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in the summer of 2004, the Vancouver Art Gallery in the spring of 2005, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2005.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 200-page book produced by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and distributed by Distributed Art Publishers, New York. The publication includes essays by the organizing curators Grant Arnold (Vancouver), Connie Butler (Los Angeles) and Jessica Bradley (Toronto), and guest writers Lynne Cooke (New York), Diedrich Diederichsen (Berlin), Sara Krajewski (Seattle) and Shepherd Steiner (Vancouver).
Rodney Graham: A Little Thought is generously supported by Carol & David Appel.
The exhibition has also received additional support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada and The Canada Council for the Arts.
Rodney Graham (Canadian, b.1949)
Vexation Island, 1997.
35mm film transferred to laser disc 9:00 minute
continuous loop, edition of 4 and two artist’s proof.
Produced by Lisson Gallery, London.
Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery,
University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
© 2003 Rodney Graham.