Robin Rhode: The Geometry of Colour



ISBN: 9788857236537 Category:

Ashraf Jamal, Jean Wainwright, Sean O'Toole


Most famously shot against a ruined wall in Westbury, Johannesburg, Rhode’s images cling nostalgically-yet-hopelessly to the particularity of a place in the very moment that longing is canceled out. Symptoms of exile, screeds for loss, they evoke a sentiment shared by the great Palestinian humanist, Edward Said, for whom ‘A part of something is for the foreseeable future going to be better than all of it. Fragments over wholes. Restless nomadic activity over the settlements of held territory. Criticism over resignation … limited independence over the status of clients. Attention, alertness, focus. To do as others do, but somehow stand apart. To tell a story in pieces, as it is.’ In Geometry of Colour, however, Rhode presents us with an even greater challenge – the mystic search for wholeness in the very midst of its impossibility.

For Rhode the glimmer of an answer resides in geometry – the necessary illusion of perfectibility. Moving between abstract speculation and visceral record, the book tracks productive years in the artist’s life, between 2014 and 2018. More a wager in the present tense than an edifying catalogue, Geometry of Colour is a vital challenge to our current disaffection. It is a testimony, perhaps, that art can still save us.

Additional information

Weight 1270 g
Dimensions 24.6 x 28.7 cm
Publisher name Skira Editore S.p.A
Publication date 21 May 2019
Number of pages 168
Format Hardback
Dimensions 24.6 x 28.7 cm
Weight 1270 g

Ashraf Jamal is a Research Associate in the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg. He is the co-author of Art in South Africa: The Future Present and co-editor of Indian Ocean Studies: Social, Cultural, and Political Perspectives. He is also the author of Predicaments of culture in South Africa, Love themes for the wilderness, and the award-winning short fiction, The Shades. With Skira, he has recently published In the World. Essays on Contemporary South African Art (2017.

Jean Wainwright is an art historian, critic, curator and Andy Warhol scholar living in London.

Sean O'Toole is a journalist and writer. Formerly editor of Art South Africa, he also writes a weekly column on photography for the Sunday Times and a biweekly art column for the Financial Mail.