Edward Ressle is pleased to present Jason Rhoades’, Pink Lipped Custard Sucker, 2003, at 53 Orchard.
Jason Rhoades' multifarious output is underlined by an interest in the conditions in which art is made and the subversion of the conventions that stand in the way of its production. Up until his untimely death in 2006 at the age of 41, Rhoades carried out a continuous assault on aesthetics and the rules governing the art world. These conditions, in fact, were used as materials as Rhoades became energized by artists like Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, and others who combined notions of performance with installation. His conceptual vigor and attempts to redefine and expand the space in which works are both made and exhibited in earned him a reputation as an artists' artist. Believing that the creative process demanded ultimate freedom, his work had the possibility of being dangerous, overwhelming, politically incorrect, obnoxious, or even sublime.
Pink Lipped Custard Sucker, 2003 is one of Jason Rhoades’ later creations. His neon works reference over 7,000 slang terms for ‘vagina’, a recurrent theme in his works meant to induce laughter and contemplation. Rhoades cites his desire for constant change in an interview with Heimir Björgúlfsson: “I would say it's taking back control, in a weird way. I’m uncomfortable with actually finishing something. This feeds into that and that feeds into this—I am trying to keep it in flux somehow.” This work, with its glowing red lights, bathes viewers in sensuality, creating an environment where one is able to consider the implications of such a vulgar phrase. Presented with scraps of lace to symbolize the blatant sexuality of the statement, the phrase, though, lies askew, prompting viewers to stay a bit longer and ask why we have the reactions that we do. Rhoades often filled entire galleries with universes composed of everything from plastic buckets and power tools to figurines and sound machines, with each piece specifically placed in solipsistic constructions that wholly engaged some viewers while leaving others baffled.
Jason Rhoades (1965-2006) has been the subject of many notable museum exhibitions such as the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. He also participated in a variety of solo exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth as well as David Zwirner. Rhoades’ first major American museum exhibition, "Four Roads" was presented at ICA Philadelphia (September 18-December 29, 2013) and a catalogue co-published with Delmonico/Prestel accompanies the show, which is touring internationally to Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany (September 17, 2014-January 4, 2015) and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom (February 20-May 31, 2015). The Brant Foundation Art Study Center is currently presenting an exhibition by Jason Rhoades featuring a selection of works from The Brant Collection and other significant works from throughout his career.
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