Robin Rhode: Variants


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For his second exhibition at White Cube, Rhode presented five animations that take the chair designs of Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld as a starting point. A member of the De Stijl movement, Rietveld aspired to bring high design to the masses. A precursor to the ‘flat pack’ furniture style now prevalent, Rietveld’s designs ‘advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour’. In the work Piano Chair, the chair acts alongside Rhode’s doppelganger as an accomplice to a crime – in this case the annihilation of a piano.

Expanding upon a scene created by Rhode for Pictures Reframed (a collaboration with the composer Leif Ove Andsnes), ‘Piano Chair’ presents the unusual scenario wherein a composer tries to ‘kill’ his piano. In the original work, the composer succeeds in drowning his piano by taking it out to sea, and here the protagonist persists with his futile, self-destructive pursuit by attacking the piano.Exhibition: White Cube Gallery, London.