PCAI collection artist and first PCAI artist-in-residence Rindon Johnson is currently showing his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art on the occasion of the Whitney Biennial 2022, titled Quiet as It’s Kept.
With leather, Rindon Johnson makes objects that “live nearish to paintings.” He began with the idea that his existence as a Black American functioned as a byproduct of colonial capitalist accumulation, automatically aligning him with any other byproducts. In a form of linguistic kingship, Johnson turned his attention to leather. These works begin with a living animal, the cow. “Who makes a mark,” he has asked. “Was it me, or the animal, or something else? What does it mean to care for something? To display? To alter?” Before beginning his work on a hide, Johnson leaves it outdoors over a period of time so that the elements interact with the material. The resulting wear and degradation suggest many things because the leather is literally skin. Straddling this line of subjugated and subjugator, Johnson has noted his presence: “I draw circles, lines, dots, hoping they’ll eventually mean something or have meant something, in time.”
The Whitney Biennial has surveyed the landscape of American art, reflecting and shaping the cultural conversation, since 1932. The eightieth edition of the landmark exhibition is co-curated by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs. Titled Quiet as It’s Kept, the 2022 Biennial features an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of sixty-three artists and collectives whose dynamic works reflect the challenges, complexities, and possibilities of the American experience today.
The Whitney Biennial 2022 is held from 6th April until 5th September, 2022
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Image: ©Rindon Johnson, a selection of panels from An island is all surrounded by water… (2022). Photo by Ben Davis.
Activity aligned with Goals 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17