The Dallas Museum of Art invites visitors to step into the artwork of renowned multidisciplinary artist Rashid Johnson in Focus On: Rashid Johnson, an installation showcasing Johnson’s multimedia work The New Black Yoga Installation.
Gifted to the DMA by the artist in 2022, this installation combines a video projection and branded Persian rugs to create an experience that is, at once, intense and intimate. The film features five men performing an enigmatic dance of ballet, yoga, tai chi and martial arts across a sun-soaked beach, exploring the complexity of personal and cultural identity. Their choreographed movements reflect Johnson’s ongoing meditations on Black masculinity and mysticism, as well as his investigations of the body in space. Rugs branded with crosshairs, a symbol that is etched into the sand in the video, are situated throughout the gallery, projecting the film’s combined sense of peace and foreboding into physical space.
“We are so proud to have the work of Rashid Johnson in our collection, and we are endlessly grateful to Rashid himself for generously gifting The New Black Yoga Installation to the DMA earlier this year,” remarks Eugene McDermott Director Agustín Arteaga. “It is of the utmost importance to our institution to expand the reach of our collection to touch every corner of our diverse community. Rashid has been a pivotal member of the arts community, creating and supporting work both in and outside of the institution, and he is emblematic of the power of art to give voice to the contemporary experience.”
Rashid Johnson’s practice encompasses a wide range of media, including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking and installation. Via a rich visual lexicon of coded symbolism and autobiographical materials, Johnson’s artwork conducts searing meditations on race and class, in addition to examining individual and shared cultural identities.
The artist, who was born in Chicago in 1977, is perhaps best known for translating cultural experiences, most commonly that of Black Americans, through his unique visual language. Johnson was recognized as the 2022 honoree for his contributions to contemporary art at the 2022 TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Gala and Auction, a charity auction that benefits both the DMA and amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.
“Over the past two decades, Rashid Johnson has established himself as a voice of his generation. Through his groundbreaking innovations across media, he has pushed form to incorporate a rich host of cultural and autobiographic references that speak to the most pressing issues of the day,” says Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “We are excited to celebrate Rashid’s contributions to contemporary art in conjunction with TWO x TWO and showcase this entrancing installation within the walls of our Museum for the first time.”
Focus On: Rashid Johnson is on view October 22, 2022, through September 10, 2023. Admission to this focus installation is free.