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303 Gallery is pleased to present our 7th exhibition of the work of Rodney Graham\, and our inaugural exhibition in the gallery's new h ome at 507 West 24th Street\, designed by principal architect StudioMDA wit h Murdock Solon Architects..

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Graham continues his focus on allegori cal self-portraiture\, inserting himself into variously arcane\, humorous\, and pathos-ridden scenarios. In "Cactus Fan\," Graham imagines himself as the title character of Carl Spitzweg's painting "The Cactus Enthusiast." In the original\, a scholar in his study examines a cactus that appears to be peering back at him. In Graham's version\, the artist plays a science prof essor\, staring at a cactus with balloons and colored foil attached to it\, obviously a birthday or graduation gift he is not particularly excited to receive. The format mimics the Spitzweg original\, though the tranquil sere nity is upended by the gaudy technicolor features of the cactus and its acc outrements. Graham's buttoned-up professor\, arms crossed and starched full -length lab coat in tow\, seems to have a moment of disgust with the cactus and all it signifies\, as if this limp\, potted cactus with balloons repre sents not only his birthday\, but the ridiculous culmination of his life up to this point. The wonderment of Spitzweg's original protagonist\, his del ight animating nature itself\, has been replaced by the stark\, cold realit y of a middling career and the blighted hope of the unfulfilled.

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In "Paddler\, Mouth of the Seymour\," another lightbox photograph based on a 19th century painting\, Graham stars as Max Schmitt in Thomas Eakins' "The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull)." Graham's boating e nvironment is altogether less idyllic than Eakins' was\, as the entropy of time has ravaged most of the joy from the boating excursion\, leaving a sol itary Graham to interact with a rusty modernist bridge to an industrial par k in place of the rolling hills and boating compatriots of the original pai nting. Graham himself appears a bit weathered and nonplussed\, going throug h the motions for the sake of the picture. In "The Drywaller\," Graham stan ds lackadaisically on stilts\, taking a smoke break\, with a nod to Abstrac t Expressionism in the patterns of the primed wall before being coated. "Ol d Punk on Pay Phone" uses a similar trope\, as graffiti creates a kind of c olor field painting behind the subject. In each of these character-driven s cenarios\, there is a feeling of dissatisfaction converging in a quiet mome nt of self-reflection - the artist takes a break\, the professor stares lis tlessly at a gift\, the paddler has a breath before embarkation. Each chara cter is at a point past his prime\, left to revel in the remnants of his fo rmer aspirations. The overarching theme\, though\, is one of acceptance\, a s there is always hope to be bestowed on each protagonist: life goes on.

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Rodney Graham will present "Torqued Chandelier Release" as a solo exh ibition at the Art Institute of Chicago from March 8 - June 21\, 2013. He h as been selected to participate in the 2013 Carnegie International in Pitts burgh and has had recent solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art \, Barcelona\; Kunstmuseum\, Basel\; Hamburger Kunsthalle\; Jeu de Paume\, Paris\; Sprengel Museum\, Hannover (where he was the recipient of the Kurt Schwitters Prize)\, and the BAWAG Foundation in Vienna\, Austria. Recent gr oup exhibitions include Under Influences\, La Maison Rouge\, Paris\; Traffi c: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980\, Vancouver Art Gallery\; Imagine the Imaginary\, Palais de Tokyo\, Paris\, FR and 101 Collection: Route 3\, CCA Wattis Institute\, San Francisco. Graham lives and works in Vancouver.

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DTEND:20130615 DTSTAMP:20140731T034322 DTSTART:20130503 GEO:40.7485947;-74.0041953 LOCATION:303 Gallery\,507 West 24th Street \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Rodney Graham UID:273119 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR