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Davis Rhodes

Casey Kaplan Gallery
525 West 21st Street, 212-645-7335
October 18 - November 24, 2007
Reception: Thursday, October 18, 6 - 8 PM
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Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce a new and important divergence from the gallery’s usual program. On October 18th the gallery will open three simultaneous solo exhibitions by the artists: Sarah Dornner, Garth Weiser, and Davis Rhodes. These exhibitions demonstrate the gallery’s desire to highlight three young artists living and working in New York City who have all recently graduated from local art schools.


Casey Kaplan is pleased to present the first exhibition in New York of artist, Davis Rhodes. Through a single medium – vitreous enamel spray paint – on rectangular canvases and free standing or wall-mounted foam-core boards, Rhodes will present an installation of paintings in Gallery III.

Making use of single colors and strong forms, Rhodes has found a new way to harness the potential of Color Field and Hard-edge painting. At the same time the works mine the abstraction of the contemporary street. Forms that are ubiquitous and found on sign posts, deli awnings, billboards, hip-hop posters, banners, cigarette packs, fitted caps, and asphalt, are quickly translated into colors such as taxicab yellow, Marlboro red and patent-leather black, and traversed with geometric shapes, lines, blurs, and significant digits. Smooth and shiny, the surfaces would be homogenous if not for the remnants of a night out in the street, cigarette ash, or a drip that escaped the speed of execution. Just when the narcissistic facades become a unique and remote urban skin, a reductive swipe acknowledges the artist’s hand.

Yellow Number 1, Jefferson Street, 9.3.07, is a free standing foam-core work. Warped and bending yet evoking a sculptural monolith, it depicts a clean, white number one on a yellow ground. Vulnerable in its medium and stability, it functioned outside on Jefferson street in Bushwick for days as a chameleon in its surroundings only to disappear and emerge weeks later in the gutter with a history now all its own. Representing both ‘one dollar’ and ‘#1’ from an array of urban references, the figure is a singular example of repeated signs in Rhodes’ paintings.

Davis Rhodes’ keen interest in abstraction as a de-contextualized intensity that runs through visual culture has led him to explore the relationships between painting and print media, and a studio practice and public performance. Through form, framework, context and materials, Rhodes’ paintings succinctly blur boundaries between the inside and outside of a painting practice.

Davis Rhodes is a recent Master of Fine Arts graduate from Columbia University School of the Arts.
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