Ron Terada: Who I Think I Am at The Hayward Gallery Project Space
LONDON.- This autumn, the Hayward Gallery Project Space presents an exhibition of work by Canadian artist, Ron Terada. Terada is a well known figure in his home country with a wide ranging conceptual practice that includes painting, signage, photography, interventions, books and music. His work often draws from past art historical figures and popular culture to evoke nostalgic and sometimes familiar narratives while ruminating on aspiration and failure.
This exhibition is the first solo exhibition of Terada’s work in London and features the ‘Jack’ paintings, a series of sixteen monochromatic canvases, concerned with the life and times of the Canada born, California raised artist Jack Goldstein. Goldstein was among the first generation of artists to emerge from Cal Arts and was considered one of the most promising artists from the post-conceptual period alongside Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo and David Salle. He then quickly disappeared into relative obscurity before his suicide in 2003. With obvious associations to other artists who deploy language in their paintings – Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, On Kawara and Lawrence Weiner – Terada’s dark works tell the bitter and frustrated story of Goldstein, an artist’s artist who never quite achieved the success of his peers during his lifetime. The paintings are prefaced by the photograph Who I Think I Am 2010, an image of Terada’s finger pointing at a picture (in a tribute to Baldessari) of Goldstein and his dog, also named Jack.
In contrast to the emotionally charged paintings are two works related to music in the show. Big Star 2003 is a large neon light piece that refers to the 1970s American Rock band of the same name. The band has been remembered by history as producing a small but devoted cult following, influencing a generation of indie bands. The final work Soundtrack for an Exhibition 2010 stays within music, a new video installation in which the image self-referentially shows the playing of an LP record of its own musical soundtrack. Together these works turn on the slippages of language and the fine line between stardom and failure, tempered with Terada’s subtle sense of humour.
Ron Terada: Who I Think I Am is curated by Dr Cliff Lauson.
Ron Terada was born in Vancouver in 1969 where he currently lives and works. Terada studied at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and is recipient of the VIVA Award, The Jack & Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts (2004) and the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, Canada Council for the Arts (2006). Recent group exhibitions include Morality, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2009), Signals in the Dark: Art in the Shadow of War, Model Arts & Niland Gallery, Sligo, Ireland (2009), and It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010). Terada received a public commission for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and is currently working on a new commission at Etablissement d’en face Projects, Brussels. His solo exhibition Who I Think I Am at the Ikon Gallery Birmingham (2010) travelled to the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff and continues on to the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, Toronto in 2011.