Rashid Johnson
Untitled Anxious Red Drawings

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Untitled Anxious Red Drawings

With the online exhibition ‘Untitled Anxious Red Drawings,’ American artist Rashid Johnson introduces a selection of new works made since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. Using oil stick on cotton rag paper, the artist has here updated the visual language of his long-established ‘Anxious Men’ series, in which deceptively crude archetypal faces express the fundamental tensions and traumas that course through contemporary life.

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‘In my project I have never thought about drawings as sketches for other works but as autonomous and final.’

Johnson’s ‘Anxious Men’ series has been characterized by faces scratched into the pictorial surface in a kind of drawing through erasure, where his new Anxious Red Drawings employ only the direct application of intense color. The repeated motif in his new works suggest both the ongoing context of global instability and our new reality.

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About the artist

Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. Johnson’s work is known for its narrative embedding of a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing collective aspects of African American intellectual history and cultural identity.

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Artist recommendations: Connecting with culture at home

We are pleased to present a collection of films, books, music and more, selected by Rashid Johnson

Recommended watch list: Law and Order, Bamboozled, Taxi Driver, Watermelon Man by Melvin Van Peebles, Native Son, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Recommended reading: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Sun also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Rashid Johnson’s Baby Back Ribs: The artist shares a favorite recipe, as home cooking provides us with community, self-care and nourishment

Customize your Zoom background with a work from Rashid Johnson’s ‘Untitled Anxious Red Drawings’ series. Click here to download

A playlist created by Rashid Johnson during his time at home