Crosshair Brand, 2011
Painted steel and red oak
(brand) 11.5 x 11.5 x 20 inches
(base) 1.5 x 15 x 25 inches
Series of 20
Crosshair Brand is a sculpture in two parts that presents a tool Rashid Johnson uses to mark the surfaces of many large scale paintings. The shape of the brand may take on many different abstract and representational forms, including circles, diamonds, palm trees, and the crosshair being a recurrent motif throughout his most recent work.
Johnson engages with racial identity in ways that insist on fluidity and contradiction. Johnson uses materials such as steel, poured wax, and shea butter, while juxtaposing relics and artifacts in an approach that flirts with the shamanistic. Concerned equally with 20th Century art history, popular culture and African American intellectual history, Johnson cites Sun Ra, Joseph Beuys, Rosalind Krauss, Richard Pryor, Hans Haacke, Carl Andre among his influences.
SculptureCenter commissioned Johnson's first solo museum exhibition in New York, Smoke and Mirrors, in 2009.