Jason Rhoades

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Jason Rhoades
Born(1965-07-09)July 9, 1965
DiedAugust 1, 2006(2006-08-01) (aged 41)
Known forInstallation art
SpouseRachel Khedoori
Sweet Brown Snail by Jason Rhoades and Paul McCarthy at the Bavariapark and the Verkehrszentrum of the Deutsche Museum in Munich.

Jason Fayette Rhoades (July 9, 1965 – August 1, 2006) was an American installation artist.[2][3][4] Better known in Europe, where he exhibited regularly for the last twelve years of his life, Rhoades was celebrated for his combination dinner party/exhibitions that feature violet neon signs (a form of word art) with African, Caribbean, Creole and hip hop slang for the female genitalia.

Early life and education[edit]

Jason Fayette Rhoades was born July 9, 1965 in Newcastle, an incorporated community in Placer County, California.[5]

Rhoades attended California College of the Arts in Oakland for one year, followed by study at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he earned a BFA degree in 1988.[6] While attending SFAI, he studied under Irene Pijoan.[7] In 1988, he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Rhoades received his MFA degree from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1993. He studied under Paul McCarthy at UCLA.[5]

Career and death[edit]

During his time at UCLA, Rhoades began making large-scale, chaotic, warehouse-like environments filled with accumulations of found, altered, and handmade objects. These multimedia assortments were assembled according to principles of free association, inspired by a combination of spiritual Eastern cultures in which he took interest, and popular Western cultures in which he lived.[8][6] These works saw Rhoades adopt an alter ego and participate in his installations, influenced by Paul McCarthy’s format of transgressive, intimate performance art.[9]

Shortly after the completion of his graduate degree in 1993, Rhoades had his first solo exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery in New York City, New York.[6] The following year in 1994, he had his first West Coast solo exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica, California.[6]

From the mid-to-late 1990s Rhoades started to enjoy major success. In 1995, the artist made My Brother/Brancusi for the Whitney Biennial, one of the most important exhibitions of young art in the United States. Bearing an interest in modern sculptor Constantin Brancusi, Rhoades modeled the installation on Brancusi’s studio as well as the way his brother Matt furnished his suburban California bedroom. Along with his family background and native terrain near Sacramento, twentieth-century art history was a constant thread in Rhoades’ work.[10] His proximity to Los Angeles as well as his dealing with themes of consumer culture and machismo have garnered Rhoades comparisons to Mike Kelley, with whom he shared a connection through their mutual friend and mentor Paul McCarthy.[11]

In addition to Los Angeles and New York, Rhoades began to more frequently exhibit in Europe amid the expansion of his success. His Perfect World installation, claimed by the artist to be the largest indoor sculpture ever made, opened in November 1999 at the Deichtorhallen museum, an industrial building that formerly served as the produce and flower market for the city of Hamburg. In the 15,000-square-foot space, Rhoades erected a scaffolding of aluminum tubes and metal clamps which support an overhead plywood platform.[12]

Continuing his construction-based work, Rhoades exhibited PeaRoeFoam: My Special Purpose in 2002. Its namesake was a construction material developed by the artist himself which had been utilized in previous installations. In 2003’s Meccatuna, the artist began to make significant use of neon signs spelling out euphemisms for “vagina,” which would be heavily featured in his final installations.[12] This marked the first work in his "Pussy Trilogy" series, which addressed the crossroads of East and West, sex, religion, and commerce.[11] In 2006, Rhoades would display the last installment in the trilogy, Tijuanatanjierchandelier, at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain, his final major exhibition.[12]

Rhoades died August 1, 2006 in Los Angeles of heart failure.[13] He was married to Australian-born artist Rachel Khedoori and they had daughter named Rubi.[5]

His work remains part of the permanent collection in the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, where he was a part of exhibit "Beg Borrow and Steal" at the time of his death.[citation needed]

Selected Installations[edit]

  • 1991 Jason the Mason and the Mason Dickson Linea, University of California Los Angeles, Westwood
  • 1991 More Moor Morals and Morass, Culver City, Los Angeles
  • 1992 Jason & Jason Entrepreneurship (Redwood Decks and Furniture, Ceramics Repair, Small Animals for Admiration and Spelling Murals), University of California Los Angeles, Westwood
  • 1991 Montgomery Ward Clinique Clinic, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1993 Garage Renovation New York (Cherry Makita), David Zwirner, New York
  • 1993 Jason and Jackie Rhoades 13 Booth Cologne County Fair/Fair Blur, Unfair, Cologne
  • 1993 Rhoades Construction, University of California Los Angeles, Culver City
  • 1993 Young Wight Grand Prix, Wight Art Gallery and Murphy Sculpture Garden, University of California Los Angeles, Westwood
  • 1994 P.I.G. (Piece in Ghent), Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent
  • 1994 Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1995 My Brother/Brancusi, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • 1996 Uno Momento/The Theater in My Dick/A Look to the Physical/The Ephemeral, Kunsthalle Basel
  • 1996 Deviations in Space, VariousVirgins, David Zwirner, New York
  • 1998 A Few Free Years: The History of the Joystick, the Button, the Knob, and the Coinslot, Secession, Vienna
  • 1998 The Creation Myth, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
  • 1999 Perfect World, Deichtorhallen Hamburg
  • 2000 Sutter’s Mill, David Zwirner, New York
  • 2001 The Costner Complex (Perfect Process), Portikus, Frankfurt
  • 2002 Liver Pool, Tate Liverpool
  • 2002 PeaRoeFoam: My Special Purpose, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna
  • 2003 Meccatuna, David Zwirner, New York
  • 2004 My Madinah: In Search of My Ermitage, Sammlung Hauser & Wirth in der Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • 2006 Black Pussy Soirée Cabaret Macramé, 3113 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles
  • 2006 Tijuanatanjierchandelier, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain


Diane Haithman. "Artist's death ruled accidental [1]", Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2006

  1. ^ Cohen, Alina (5 January 2019). "13 Artists Who Highlight the Power of Words". Artsy. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  2. ^ Haithman, Diane (August 18, 2006). "He left behind one last puzzle". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Haithman, Diane (August 3, 2006). "Jason Rhoades, 41; Artist Combined Humor, Poignancy". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Saltz, Jerry (August 12, 2006). "Jason Rhoades". The Guardian (UK).
  5. ^ a b c Johnson, Ken (2006-08-05). "Jason Rhoades, 41, Maker of Transgressive Installations, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  6. ^ a b c d "Jason Rhoades". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  7. ^ "Pijoan, Irene (American painter and sculptor, born 1953)". Union List of Artist Names, The J. Paul Getty Trust.
  8. ^ Rhoades, Jason; Ostrow, Saul (1998). "Jason Rhoades: In a Field of Signs". BOMB (62): 104–106. ISSN 0743-3204. JSTOR 40425550.
  9. ^ Trivedi, Nina (2021). “The Externalisation of the Object : A Critical Study of Object Categories in the Work of Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, Jason Rhoades and Ryan Trecartin, from 1974 to 2010,” January.
  10. ^ Meyer-Hermann, Eva (2009). Jason Rhoades. Jason Rhoades, Friedrich Christian Flick Collection. Cologne: DuMont. ISBN 978-3-8321-9196-2. OCLC 310156788.
  11. ^ a b Lescaze, Zoe (2020). "Jason Rhoades: DAVID ZWIRNER". Artforum International. 58 (5): 208 – via Gale Literature Resource Center.
  12. ^ a b c Jason Rhoades : four roads. University of Pennsylvania. Institute of Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Bremen, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Philadelphia. 2014. ISBN 978-3-7913-5292-3. OCLC 841897486.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ Salz, Jerry (August 11, 2006). "Obituary: Jason Rhoades". The Guardian.

External links[edit]