Jason Rhoades: Topa, 2005 / Art Basel Unlimited 2023

Official description: Topa is derived from Jason Rhoades’s greater artwork My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage…, a mesmerizing installation comprised of vibrant neon euphemisms for female genitalia and lascivious language. Often entailing multiple layers and components, larger installations consist of smaller, subsidiary installations: a deliberate and calculated pandemonium of accumulation.

The use of light is ubiquitous throughout Rhoades’s practice, as are industrial materials not typically associated with fine art. ‘Just as a painter has a palette, Rhoades had a materials cart,’ says curator and writer Ingrid Schaffner. While the neon lights imbue the space with a radiant serenity that feels both limitless and sublime, Rhoades also illuminates cultural taboos and tropes, challenging the comfort of his audience while delighting their senses.

Jason Rhoades (born 1965 in Newcastle, California; died 2006 in Los Angeles) is known for monumental installations that have pushed aesthetic conventions. Engaging with concepts of labor, capital, materiality, modernism, performance, and process, he considered each of his works as components of one single boundless piece realized over time.

Jason Rhoades: Topa, 2005 / Art Basel Unlimited 2023. Basel (Switzerland), June 14, 2023.

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