Rashid Johnson


Walls of ruddy oak paneling provided a posh backdrop to Rashid Johnson’s third solo exhibition at Monique Meloche, for which the artist loosely transformed the long narrow gallery into what appeared to be an exclusive black gentlemen’s recreation center, punctuated by rim shot after rim shot of racial spoofs delivered in the form of gauche assemblages. Incorporated in these sculptural configurations were Johnson’s notorious parodic photographs, as well as houseplants, bowls of shea butter, a beige shag carpet, a wicker chair, tacky decorative paintings, sundry brass knickknacks, and more. Taken as a whole, the installation was humorously anointed with glints of semiprecious metal, exotic arcing palm fronds, and the syncopated sounds of Sun Ra’s afrofuturism, all enveloped in clouds of burning incense. Titled “The New Escapist Promised Land Garden and Recreation Center,” this spurious

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