The Arts Club, London presents two spring exhibitions: Robin Rhode and Patricia Leite. 20 January – April 2020. Private view: 22 January 2020, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The Arts Club London is delighted to announce its two Spring exhibitions, Robin Rhode and Patricia Leite, curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art, presented across the Club’s Drawing Room and Ante-Room.
Performance and visual artist Robin Rhode utilises whimsical imagery and playful narratives to counter darker influences from his early life in post-apartheid South Africa.
Often staging performances in the streets of Johannesburg, Rhode creates sequential photographs or stop-motion works that display and explore the act of drawing. By creating performed narratives, like drawing a bike on a wall and mimicking riding it, Rhode borrows from the genres of cartoon, slapstick comedy and absurdism to engage with topics such as urban culture, socio-economic inequality and outgrowths of Postcolonialism.
Robin Rhode came of age in newly post-apartheid South Africa, when youth culture was under the growing influence of hip-hop, film, and sports. These influences, alongside the community’s reliance on storytelling in the form of colourful murals and graffiti, encouraged the development of his hybrid street-based aesthetic.
The Arts Club will exhibit two of Rhode’s sequential photographic works, Frustum (2017) and Delta, (2018). Frustum depicts a figure in a uniform reminiscent of school attire worn in government schools across South Africa, straddling a bicycle and moving through the scene whilst being bombarded by rigidly ordered geometrical forms. In Delta, two leaping women, who never touch the ground, frame a star symbol, the triangles of which reference the sky and ground. Typical of Rhode’s work, both pieces are underlined with exuberance, physicality and rhythm – each connecting old and new schools of art, by referencing contemporary popular culture whilst borrowing from illusionism and abstraction.
For the first solo exhibition in London of Brazilian artist Patricia Leite, she has created a new series of works inspired by the natural world and her own psychological realms. Honouring her country’s complex identity, Leite has chosen the subject of Rio de Janeiro for these paintings, stating that “Rio sums up all the good and bad that my country lives with at this moment”.
The artist bases her work on the intense colours and light of her native country. Working at the boundary between abstraction and representation, Leite describes her artworks as ‘imagined landscapes’, blending memory, association and imagination to subvert traditional landscape painting and encourage new ways of exploring pictorial space.
Leite lives and works in Belo Horizonte and travels regularly around her home country, absorbing the varied landscapes that influence and inform her work. Her paintings are often devoid of figures, depicting instead the rural scenes she first captures with her iPhone, which are then filtered through her imagination. These settings are brought into painterly life through abstracted shapes and fragmented vistas in hyper-saturated, hallucinatory colours, creating a specific mood and atmosphere within each image.
These exhibitions are curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art. Robin Rhode is represented by Lehmann Maupin New York, Hong Kong and Seoul and Patricia Leite is represented by Mendes Wood DM New York, Brussels and São Paulo.