Rodney Graham

Rodney Graham ( b. 1949 in Matsqui, now part of Abbotsford, British Columbia) is a Canadian artist, quasi exemplarily analyzed his work, modern art and at the same time their detachment from modernity.


Rodney Graham moved in 1964 with his family to Vancouver. He studied art history, from 1968 to 1971 at the University of British Columbia and then from 1978 to 1979 at Simon Fraser University.

Rodney Graham has since the mid- 70s, created a multi-layered work that he has realized in a plethora of different media such as film, photography, installation, painting, printmaking, literature and music. With a lot of poetic irony, sophistication and conceptual originality of the artist depicts in his work relationships between the different levels of everyday life and cultural history. He studied while reflecting artistic, musical and literary works and events of the history of ideas from all eras and creates a complex work between reality and fiction. The works deal among other things with the central figures in the culture of the 19th and early 20th century (eg, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Wagner, Raymond Roussel, and Sigmund Freud and the dream of the botanical monograph ) or reflect popular myths of cinema. Here Graham subjects the used by him for his own art works from the inside out a sympathetic criticism and turns them that way. Often his art relates to cinematic clichés or familiar elements of popular music. The repetition plays in Graham's work as a formal and structural principle a central role, not only in his films, but also in many other works.

The work of Rodney Graham has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including the retrospective 2004-2005 ( MoCA Los Angeles, ICA Philadelphia, Vancouver Art Gallery, and others), at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London ( 2002), Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2001) and 2006/ 7 in the Sprengel Museum (Hannover). He has participated in Documenta IX (1992 ), at the Venice Biennale (1997 and 2003) and participated in the Whitney Biennial in New York.

In 2010, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Basel, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the exhibition showed Rodney Graham. Through the Forest.

Graham 's 2006 Winners of the Kurt Schwitters Prize for Visual Arts of the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation.

Exhibition catalog

  • Rodney Graham. Through the Forest, in the English language; Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2010 ISBN 978-3-7757-2576-7