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Robin Rhode


The Arts Club London presents two Spring exhibitions, Robin Rhode and Patricia Leite, curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art, presented across the Club’s Drawing Room and Ante-Room.

Performance and visual artist Robin Rhode utilises whimsical imagery and playful narratives to counter darker influences from his early life in post-apartheid South Africa.

Often staging performances in the streets of Johannesburg, Rhode creates sequential photographs or stop-motion works that display and explore the act of drawing. By creating performed narratives, like drawing a bike on a wall and mimicking riding it, Rhode borrows from the genres of cartoon, slapstick comedy and absurdism to engage with topics such as urban culture, socio-economic inequality and outgrowths of Postcolonialism.

Robin Rhode came of age in newly post-apartheid South Africa, when youth culture was under the growing influence of hip-hop, film, and sports. These influences, alongside the community’s reliance on storytelling in the form of colourful murals and graffiti, encouraged the development of his hybrid street-based aesthetic.

The Arts Club will exhibit two of Rhode’s sequential photographic works, Frustum (2017) and Delta, (2018). Frustum depicts a figure in a uniform reminiscent of school attire worn in government schools across South Africa, straddling a bicycle and moving through the scene whilst being bombarded by rigidly ordered geometrical forms. In Delta, two leaping women, who never touch the ground, frame a star symbol, the triangles of which reference the sky and ground. Typical of Rhode’s work, both pieces are underlined with exuberance, physicality and rhythm – each connecting old and new schools of art, by referencing contemporary popular culture whilst borrowing from illusionism and abstraction.


Robin Rhode

20 January – April 2020

The Arts Club London

40 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4NP, United Kingdom



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