Lisson Gallery

Rodney Graham

Rodney Graham pulls at the threads of cultural and intellectual history through photography, film, music, performance and painting. He presents cyclical narratives that pop with puns and references to literature and philosophy, from Lewis Carroll to Sigmund Freud to Kurt Cobain, with a sense of humour that betrays Graham’s footing in the post-punk scene of late 1970s Vancouver. The nine-minute loop Vexation Island (1997) presents the artist as a 17th-century sailor, lying unconscious under a coconut tree with a bruise on his head; after eight and a half minutes he gets up and shakes the tree inducing a coconut to fall and knock him out, and for the sequence to start again. Graham returns as a cowboy in How I Became a Ramblin’ Man (1999) and as both city dandy and country bumpkin in City Self/Country Self (2001) – fictional characters all engaged in an endless loop of activity. Such dream states and the ramblings of the unconscious are rooted in Graham’s earlier upside-down photographs of oak trees. Inversion, Graham explains, has a logic: ‘You don’t have to delve very deeply into modern physics to realise that the scientific view holds that the world is really not as it appears. Before the brain rights it, the eye sees a tree upside down in the same way it appears on the glass back of the large format field camera I use.’ (2005)

Rodney Graham was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada in 1949. He graduated from the University of British Columbia, Burnaby, Canada in 1971 and lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. Solo exhibitions include Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany (2017); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2017); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2017); Le Constortium, Dijon, France (2016); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany (2015); Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada (2014); Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2012); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria (2011); Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2010); Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA, USA (2004); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (2002); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2001); and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (1999). He has participated in group exhibitions such as the Carnegie International (2013), the 13th, 14th and 17th Sydney Biennales, Australia (2002, 2006, 2010), the Whitney Biennial, New York, USA (2006) and the Biennale d’Art contemporain de Lyon, France (2003). He represented Canada at the 47th Venice Biennale, Italy (1997) and among awards he has received the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, Toronto, Canada (2004), the Kurt Schwitters-Preis, Niedersächsiche Sparkassenstiftung, Germany (2006), and the Audain Prize for lifetime achievement in visual arts, British Columbia, Canada (2011). Rodney Graham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2016 for his contributions to Canadian contemporary art. 

Rodney Graham
Betula Pendula ‘Fastigiata’ (Sous-Chef on Smoke-Break), 2011

Painted aluminum lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency 242.89 x 181.93 x 17.8 cm 95 5/8 x 71 5/8 x 7 in

Rodney Graham
Canadian Humourist, 2012
Painted aluminium lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency 232.7 x 181.9 x 17.8 cm 91 5/8 x 71 5/8 x 7 in

Rodney Graham
Children's Trolley (If I ran the Zoo), 1993
painted stainless steel and book 42 x 43 x 21 cm 16 1/2 x 17 x 8 3/8 in

Rodney Graham
Untitled, 2007

Oil on linen 61.5 x 46 cm 62. 24 1/4 x 18 in

Rodney Graham
Untitled, 2007
Oil on linen 48 x 37.2 cm 19 x 14 5/8 in

Rodney Graham
Untitled, 2007
Oil on linen,  44.3 x 36.2 cm 17 3/8 x 14 1/2 in

Rodney Graham
Vacuuming the Gallery 1949, 2018
Four painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies 303.8 x 181.9 x 17.8 cm (each panel) 119 1/2 x 71 1/2 x 7 in (each panel)

Rodney Graham
Tattooed Man on Balcony, 2018
Two painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparency 278.6 x 164.2 x 17.8 cm (each panel) 109 5/8 x 64 5/8 x 7 in (each panel)

Rodney Graham
Tattooed Man on Balcony, 2018
Two painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparency 278.6 x 164.2 x 17.8 cm (each panel) 109 5/8 x 64 5/8 x 7 in (each panel)

Rodney Graham
Central Questions of Philosophy, 2018
Two painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies 117 x 91.4 cm (each) 46 1/8 x 36 in (each)

Rodney Graham
Psychomania variation II, 2010
Multi canvas painting 228 x 435 x 5 cm 89 3/4 x 171 1/4 x 2 in

Rodney Graham
Images qui succedent à la contemplation d’objets d’un grand éclat ou même d’objets bien éclaires, 1989
Brass, plexiglass and book 42.4 x 101.4 x 101.4 cm 16 5/8 x 40 x 40 in

Rodney Graham
Torqued Chandelier Release, 2005
35mm silent colour film (5min), purpose built projector screen Screen: 305 x 183 cm 120 x 72 inches

Rodney Graham
Torqued Chandelier Release, 2005
35mm silent colour film (5min), purpose built projector screen Screen: 305 x 183 cm 120 x 72 inches

Rodney Graham
Screen Door, 2005
Solid silver, 203 x 82 x 12 cm 80 x 32 3/8 x 4 3/4 in

Rodney Graham
Screen Door, 2005
Solid silver, 203 x 82 x 12 cm 80 x 32 3/8 x 4 3/4 in

Rodney Graham
Screen Door, 2005
Solid silver, 203 x 82 x 12 cm 80 x 32 3/8 x 4 3/4 in

Rodney Graham
Rotary Psycho-Opticon, 2008
AV & Multimedia 304.8 x 365.8 cm 120 x 144 in   

Rodney Graham
Rotary Psycho-Opticon, 2008
AV & Multimedia 304.8 x 365.8 cm 120 x 144 in   

Rodney Graham
Inverted Drip Painting #57, 2012
Liquid acrylic on linen 118.7 x 98.4 cm 46 3/4 x 38 3/4 in


Rodney Graham
Inverted Drip Painting #57, 2012
Liquid acrylic on linen 118.7 x 98.4 cm 46 3/4 x 38 3/4 in


Rodney Graham
My Late Early Styles (Part I, The Middle Period), 2007-2009
Chromogenic photograph 186.4 x 247.6 cm 73 3/8 x 97 1/2 in

Rodney Graham
Artist’s Model Posing for “The Old Bugler, Among The Fallen, Battle of Beaune-la-Roland, 1870” in the Studio of An Unknown Military Painter, Paris, 1885, 2009
Painted aluminium lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency 181.9 x 247.9 x 17.8 cm 71 5/8 x 97 5/8 x 7 in

Rodney Graham
Psychomania variation I, 2010
Multi canvas painting 245 x 612.5 x 5 cm 96 1/2 x 241 1/4 x 2 3/4 in

Rodney Graham
Good Hand Bad Hand, 2010
Two painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies 89.5 x 74.3 x 17.8 cm each 35 1/4 x 29 1/4 x 7 in each

Rodney Graham
Good Hand Bad Hand, 2010
Two painted aluminum lightboxes with transmounted chromogenic transparencies 89.5 x 74.3 x 17.8 cm each 35 1/4 x 29 1/4 x 7 in each

Rodney Graham
Media Studies ’77 (Meet Me in St. Louis), 2017
Painted aluminum lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency 166.7 x 126.1 x 17.8 cm 65 5/8 x 49 5/8 x 7 in

Rodney Graham
Media Studies ’77 (Meet Me in St. Louis), 2017
Painted aluminum lightbox with transmounted chromogenic transparency 166.7 x 126.1 x 17.8 cm 65 5/8 x 49 5/8 x 7 in

Rodney Graham
Untitled (Diptych), 2015
C-print 83 x 136 cm unframed, 113 x 166 cm framed 32 1/2 x 53 1/2 in unframed, 44 1/2 x 65 3/8 in framed

Rodney Graham
Pipe Cleaner Sculpture, 2015
Pipe cleaners and acrylic paint 43.2 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm 44. 17 x 10 x 10 in

Rodney Graham
Pipe Cleaner Sculpture, 2015
Pipe cleaners and acrylic paint 43.2 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm 44. 17 x 10 x 10 in

Rodney Graham
Pipe Cleaner Sculpture, 2015
Pipe cleaners and acrylic paint 40.6 x 73.7 x 45.7 cm 16 x 29 x 18 in

Rodney Graham
Pipe Cleaner Sculpture, 2015
Pipe cleaners and acrylic paint 40.6 x 73.7 x 45.7 cm 16 x 29 x 18 in

Rodney Graham
Untitled, 2015
Oil paint on board 46 x 36.2 x 3.8 cm 18 1/8 x 14 1/4 x 1 1/2 in

Exhibitions

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    Rodney Graham: Central Questions of Philos...

    3 October – 3 November 2018

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    Rodney Graham: Più Arte dello Scovolino!

    29 January – 4 March 2016

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    Rodney Graham

    17 May – 29 June 2013

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    Rodney Graham: Painter, Poet, Lighthouse K...

    23 June – 31 July 2010

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    Rodney Graham: Wet on Wet - My Late Early ...

    10 October – 17 November 2007

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    Rodney Graham: A Glass of Beer and Other W...

    19 October – 23 November 2005

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    Rodney Graham: What is Happy, Baby?

    7 December 2000 – 27 January 2001

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    Rodney Graham

    23 November 1996 – 11 January 1997

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    Rodney Graham and Juan Muñoz

    22 October – 4 December 1993

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    Rodney Graham: Books

    13 September – 13 October 1990

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