By Marni Prichard Manko| August 26, 2013 |
Untitled (from My Madinah: In pursuit of my ermitage...), 2004.
The Institute of Contemporary Art is one of Philadelphia’s bastions of culture, but you won’t see it turning conservative as it marks its 50th anniversary this year. Instead it’s presenting one of its biggest and most ambitious exhibitions to date.
“Jason Rhoades, Four Roads” is an homage to Jason Rhoades, a provocative American artist who died in 2006 at age 41, and an exploration of the decadent, psychedelically colored world he created. Critically acclaimed and described by some as among the most significant artists of his generation, he was known for enormous overloaded installations that delved into the worlds of sex, fetishism, and religion.
Rhoades showed much of his art overseas, and this will be the first major museum exhibition of his work in the US. “This in itself is remarkable,” says Ingrid Schaffner, ICA’s chief curator and the creative force behind the project. “That it’s happening here at ICA—where Andy Warhol had his first solo museum exhibition ever—only goes to show that Philadelphia continues to be a place of vision when it comes to recognizing contemporary art.”
Filling ICA’s entire gallery space, the exhibition will be anchored by four installations: Garage Renovation New York (CHERRY Makita), The Creation Myth, Sutter’s Mill, and Untitled (from My Madinah: In pursuit of my ermitage...). The concept is that individually these installations offer four interpretations of who Rhoades was as an artist, while together they paint a cohesive picture of his body of work. Using elements as disparate as bright neon lights, plastic buckets, a V-8 engine, and power tools, the installations provide a wide-ranging look at the many worlds that Rhoades created and then left behind.“ Jason Rhoades, Four Roads” runs September 18–December 29. 118 S. 36th St., 215-898-7108