Beginning 8 September 2016, Hauser & Wirth will present ‘Fly Away’, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Rashid Johnson, complemented by a monumental installation that engages the gallery’s soaring architecture. Taking its name from the time-honored 1929 hymn ‘I’ll Fly Away’, a song reinterpreted over decades by scores of artists – from gospel legends of the Dust Bowl era to such contemporary pop performers as Kanye West – the exhibition reveals Johnson pondering themes of history, yearning, and escape while intensifying his longstanding investigation into the relationship between art, society, and personal identity.
On view through 22 October, ‘Fly Away’ will also include performances by New York-based classically trained pianist and music producer Antoine Baldwin, also known as Audio BLK. During the first week of the exhibition, Baldwin will perform on an upright piano situated at the center of Johnson’s massive installation environment. Thereafter, he will periodically enter the gallery unannounced to activate the space anew by playing original jazz compositions.
‘Fly Away’ is a prelude to Johnson’s upcoming exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City MO, opening February 2017.