Rashid Johnson - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Drawing from Afrofuturism and abstract expressionism, Rashid Johnson probes the collective history of being Black in America. Johnson masterfully reworks metaphorically loaded, traditionally domestic materials such as reclaimed floorboards and soap in Good Love, 2012. The present example exhibits the psychological intensity of the artist’s practice in its attention to surface. Burning, pouring and scraping, Johnson has crafted a hybrid sculptural object that builds upon his presentation of branding wood flooring works the year prior at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.
    "Some of the concerns that I’ve had with the idea of healing get back into the black character’s scarred history. But rather than replaying the source of the scars, I provide a formula for healing the scars rather than a discussion around how the scars were formed."
    —Rashid Johnson 

    A central figure of the Post-Black Art movement, Johnson, alongside artists such as Sanford Biggers, Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford and Laylah Ali, relies on connotations rather than didactic expression. Thelma Golden, curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, was the first to group these artists who addressed Blackness while embracing formal ambiguity, defining Post-Black Art as “characterized by artists who were adamant about not being labeled as ‘black’ artists, though their work was steeped, in fact deeply interested in redefining complex notions of blackness.”i  Ruminating in this complexity, Good Love affirms the violence of branding in its scorched wood surface, which is in turn symbolically and physically layered with cleansing black soap.  


    i Thelma Golden, Freestyle, exh. cat., Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, 2001, p. 14

    • Provenance

      David Kordanksy Gallery, Los Angeles
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Good Love

signed "Rashid Johnson" on the reverse
branded red oak flooring, black soap, wax and spray enamel
72 5/8 x 47 1/4 in. (184.5 x 120 cm)
Executed in 2012, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Full Cataloguing

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $138,600

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022