Rashawn Griffin · a hole-in-the-wall country

Drawing from his training in sculpture and painting, Rashawn Griffin’s nostalgic assemblages use the architecture of the gallery space to reveal social landscapes and personal narratives. In the tradition of artists such as David Hammons and Bruce Conner, his diverse practice employs found objects and personal effects that introduce evocative hints of place and character. The dialogues Griffin creates between organic, transient materials including grasses and food and larger, architectural concerns engage the viewer as an active participant through fluctuations in scale and viewpoint.

At the Nerman Museum, Griffin installs a site-specific room constructed of fabric, wood, and foam; a cable strung with drawings connects the room to the monumental cascading staircase in the front entrance rotunda on the museum’s first floor. With A Hole-in-the-Wall Country, Griffin considers the association between the interior and exterior stairwells in the museum, and this reflection parallels the studio’s relationship to the outside world. Notably, all of the materials, language and ephemera in the installation were accumulated during the artist’s time spent in Kansas. The resulting exhibition acts as an exercise in memory and displacement, themes in Griffin’s work which critic Adrian Searle has called “dislocating and affecting.”

Rashawn Griffin was born in 1980 in Los Angeles, raised in Olathe, Kansas, and lives and works in New York and Kansas City, MO. He received a MFA from Yale University in 2005 and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts in 2002. He was a 2006 resident of the Studio Museum AIR program. His work has been included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, a two-person exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem (R.S.V.P) as well as in the group exhibition "Freeway Balconies" at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, curated by Collier Schorr.