Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016. Installation view at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 2016. Photo: Martin Parsekian

Rashid Johnson, The Crisis, 2019. Installation view at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, 2019. Photo: Ramiro Chaves

Rashid Johnson, Untitled Stranger, 2017. Installation view at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, 2017. Photo: Ken Adlard

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2019. Installation view at ICA VCU, Richmond, 2019. Photo: David Hunte

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016. Installation view at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 2016. Photo: Martin Parsekian

Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago, USA) lives and works in New York, USA. Johnson incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history, and employs a wide range of media including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking and installation. He is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work explores themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality and critical history. Recent exhibitions include Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico (2019); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia (2016); Grand Palais, France (2015); and South London Gallery, UK (2012).

Project Description

Rashid Johnson presents a large-scale public sculpture at Canning Graving Dock Quayside. Johnson’s sculpture is formed by two distinct head parts in the style of a totem – made from bronze and furnished with plants. The sculpture takes inspiration from his series of drawings Anxious Men, which evoke a sense of collective anxiety. Incorporating organic elements in his work, the plants which grow from within the sculpture – yucca and cacti – are selected for their endurance to harsh winds and saline water. The resilience of the plants and the location of the sculpture could be interpreted as speaking to the origins of present-day racial discrimination and violence – the transatlantic slave trade – of which Canning Graving Dock was an early facilitator.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial with support from Hauser & Wirth. 

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Rashid Johnson.