Robin Rhode

Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence Program

September 12 - November 11, 2022
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The fall 2022 artist resident is Robin Rhode (b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa) whose multi-faceted practice creates visual narratives through quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint. Rhode came of age in the newly post-apartheid South Africa and this history shapes Rhode's work, revealing a range of historical and contemporary references, and an innate skill for blending high and low art forms. The winner of the 2018 Zurich Art Prize, Rhode has had exhibitions at Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, the Netherlands; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; and Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Savannah, among others. 

Rhode is also a featured artist in the Fall 2022 exhibition Urban Impressions: Experiencing the Contemporary Global Metropolis. In his works on view—a photographic series, Principle of Hope, and a video work, Small Axe—a figure interacts with objects and architecture, as well as abstract shapes and patterns in a surprising and almost acrobatic manner. Rhode uses this dynamic physicality to reference slapstick comedy as well as racist minstrel shows as a means of expressing the ongoing struggle for equality and dignity with poignancy and humor. 

Rhode often works with young people in the Johannesburg township that is home to the cracked wall that has become the primary location for his films and photographs, as he explores urban youth culture, socioeconomic inequality, and the legacy of post-Colonialism in his multifaceted work. 

During his residence, Rhode is meeting with Rice classes to discuss his work and process, and he also engages with the larger Houston community throughs meetings and presentations.