Ballon Rouge is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Belgium of American artist Rashawn Griffin. The exhibition opens January 12, 2023, and will be on view until March 11, 2023. An opening reception will take place at the gallery on Thursday, January 12th from 6 to 8pm.
Rashawn Griffin is known for his large-scale installations, sculptures, and paintings which use domestic and everyday materials. His installations often explore the relationship between architecture and the traditions of painting by using stretched fabric over walls. Pushing the boundaries between object and installation, his work challenges viewers to engage in their own past experiences when confronting his art. His work doesn’t fit comfortably into any art historical category; he has synthesized aspects of both painting and sculpture into a unique approach to art making. The body, and specifically the removal of the body as a figurative presence, has always been central to Griffin’s work. Architectural structures, rooms made of clothing, drawings with internal ruminations, food, blankets, ephemera from performances, and debris of a lived life have been the materials he utilizes in his work as an installation artist and sculptor. He implies the presence of a body, but uses no images of one.
For the current exhibition, Griffin is presenting a series of “Décors.” These intimate works are both installations and bodies, or rather, portraits—sometimes of himself, sometimes of loved ones, for example William E. Jones, an artist and friend, who mailed the items in his portrait to Griffin, who then “painted” him. Griffin assembles the materials used to represent or paint a body, and these objects are then incorporated into the painting, establishing a visual language. Their relationships develop into a narrative that is both private and public.
Rashawn Griffin (born 1980, Los Angeles) received an MFA from Yale University in 2005, and was an artist in residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem (2005-06). He received the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant Award in 2007, and was the youngest participant in the 2008 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Since then, his work has been the subject of the solo exhibition “We no longer recognized the backs of our hands” at The Momentary, Bentonville, Arkansas and “a hole-in-the-wall country” at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at the NSU Fort Lauderdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin. His work is in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO, and the Saatchi Gallery, as well as several important private collections. He lives and works in Kansas City.