Skip to Main Content

Artist in Artists' Bar, 1950's

Rodney Graham (Canadian, born 1949). Artist in Artists' Bar, 1950's, 2016. Transmounted chromogenic transparency in painted aluminum lightbox, edition 3/4, 95 1/8 x 71 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches (241.6 x 182.3 x 18.4 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2016. (P2016:10). © Rodney Graham, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

© Rodney Graham, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Rodney Graham

Canadian, born 1949

Artist in Artists' Bar, 1950's, 2016

transmounted chromogenic transparency in painted aluminum lightbox

Edition: 3/4

overall: 95 1/8 x 71 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches (241.62 x 182.25 x 18.41 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2016

P2016:10

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

no inscriptions

Provenance

from the artist to 303 Gallery, New York;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, October 18, 2016

Class

Photographs

Work Type

Photographic transparency

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Rodney Graham stages elaborate investigations into the history of art and culture through photography, film, music, performance, and painting. Artist in Artists' Bar belongs to a recent series of works in which Graham has imagined himself in the guise of fictional bohemian artists. The artist meticulously made and staged every element seen in this lightbox photograph and then posed himself as the downtrodden 1950s artist represented within it.

Graham has explained that this work “represents an abstract painter’s hangout, a hypothetical one in the 1950s with art by its denizens on the wall, works presumably traded for food and drink. It took me a while to do the paintings. I wanted to do them myself. I like to experiment with modernist tropes in my own painting, a sideline. My painting is perhaps not good enough for museums but it is good enough for a restaurant.”

In Artist in Artists' Bar, Graham has created a powerful form of time travel: one artist attiring himself in the tropes of another generation and weighing whether they still have relevance after so many retellings. The artist’s channeling of the past is presented as a pastiche, but nonetheless one that tell us something about the nature of influence in a moment when all historical styles are readily available to the contemporary artist willing to shuffle through them.

Back to Top