For Rhodes’ second solo exhibition with the gallery he presents a series of new oil paintings on canvas made exclusively with high chroma yellow. The particular color gives the highest intensity from the smallest tonal interval to white. The paintings are made with a single additive process of applying heavily thinned oil paint to primed canvas and a single subtractive process of partial erasure using automotive solvents. Crucial to the process is that the application of yellow is irreversible; the optical white of the gessoed surface cannot be restored. The process is, in this sense, finite.
The optical qualities of the yellow obscure its materiality. This is reiterated in the preparation of the canvases, which have been sanded so as to minimize surface texture that would register the trace of hand or brush. While omnipresent, the yellow does not function serially but rather gives rise to a wide range of pictorial possibilities – it appears at times dense and physical and at others remote and dematerialized. The paintings are made with no clear end in mind but are rather concerned with their own compositional processes. The viewer is drawn into an irresolvable exchange – the paintings are, for Rhodes, a singular way of capturing the body within pictorial relation.
Accompanying the exhibition is the launch of a publication made in collaboration with the philosopher Daniel Colucciello Barber. The publication comes after several years of conversation between the two, in which Barber’s theoretical construction and Rhodes’ artistic work has unfolded in relay – and parallel – with one another. The publication formalizes this relay via a non-hierarchical layout between text and image – Barber does not write on Rhodes nor does Rhodes’ work illustrate Barber’s text, rather they do their work alongside one another. For Rhodes this amounts to an occasion to place works from 2006–2015 on the same visual plane according to a chiastic arc articulated via Barber’s text. The confrontation – as well as intimacy – between works and text is evident throughout.