My Dear Brother,
…. At last I found some steam in me to carry out an intense week of work after so many months of ineptitude and depravity. Alas, it is also true that now I find myself once again rather exhausted and useless. But with your help I hope to soon regain my vigour! No matter, I have seen that things are going ok, quite well in fact, now that I have had no choice but to get to know what resources I have in front of me. Yet, I know what also is not in front of me. The ones that are here I know as I have counted them over and over again, 516 at last count, which is probably the inventory of grey hairs on my head. But perhaps I need to count more, probably 500 more hairs (books) so that then I might be closer to possessing a whole head. You may find this to be an arid occupation, not counting money, but you cannot deny the value and power a hair of head could command when attempting to bring a work of art to life – the ghosts of images thrive with life once more… Something like a library can only be found by sacrifice. I would not hesitate to enter my library as a financial asset to the firm. We are all renters. If only you can take me in you’re debt and reanimate the spirit of production and witness return. True, for now I at least need a few more to start, one is about 1500 m, and 120m, but that would really only be palliative, so at least another 2000 m, annually on my own.
We must have the courage to do this.
Your Brother – A.W.
MISAKO & ROSEN is pleased to announce our second exhibition with New Orleans / Berlin based artist Stephen G Rhodes. A MFA graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California (2005), Rhodes has participated in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. A selection includes Migros Museum, Zurich (solo forthcoming, 2012), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2011), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (solo, 2010), The Rubell Family Collection Museum, Miami (2009-2010),”The Generational : Younger Than Jesus” at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009), “Prospect. 1, New Orleans” (2008-09) and “between two deaths”, ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2007).
The present exhibition includes a selection of new paintings from Rhodes’s ongoing “Vacant Portraits” series as well as a related film installation. The spectral presence of depressed art historian Aby Warburg as well as that of his banking family occupies the gallery space – transformed into a makeshift room evoking both a haunted bank corridor and an abandoned library. In the exhibited paintings Rhodes utilizes a negationary technique in which the subjects of official portraits are removed from the framing leaving behind a spectral residue; a form which is vaguely representational. The exhibition is comprised of complex histories; lost and found knowledge embodied in a disembodied cast of ghostly characters.