Robin Rhode, Drawings 2000-2001, 2020, installation view
STEVENSON is pleased to present Drawings 2000-2001, an exhibition of works on paper by Robin Rhode.
The drawings have been stored in Rhode’s family home for close to 20 years, and are now exhibited for the first time at Stevenson Cape Town.
In 2000 Rhode was granted a Fresh residency at the South African National Gallery, and gave a performance at the Market Galleries during a solo show in Johannesburg. Many of his performances of that period were ephemeral, like the park bench he drew on the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, and the escape he enacted from the Slave Lodge museum in the same city. Other performances were particularly staged for photography and video, and live on in those media as his signature serial ‘poems’.
A lesser known part of Rhode’s practice at the time was a series of charcoal drawings on paper, indexing everyday objects around him. Some, like a Nokia 8210 and a VHS video cassette, strongly root this body of work in a particular time. Others, like a bottle of water and a hair brush, remain mundane in 2020. The drawings show an artist at work, trying to make sense of the world around him, and his place within that world. Art historical awareness infuses the work, but does not suffocate it. One might be reminded of Magritte’s use of text and image, or Duchamp recategorising manufactured objects as art, but the drawings retain a lightness, marking the intersection of gesture and drawing.