Artist Profile

Rodney Graham

Portrait of Rodney Graham

Rodney Graham was born in 1949 in Abbotsford, Canada. He studied Art History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The artist lives and works in Vancouver.


Both as an artist and a musician – he was part of Vancouver post-punk scene – Rodney Graham has created a varied body of work since the late 1970s. Using different media such as photography, film, music, performance and painting, the artist interconnects reality and fiction by exploring everyday life and intellectual history. His works present narratives reflecting on visual arts, literature, as well as historical and cultural events.


Rodney Graham received the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 2004 and was awarded the DAAD Scholarship in 2001.


He took part in the 1992 documenta IX, the 47th Venice Biennale (where he represented Canada) in 1997, and the Whitney Biennial in 2006.


The artist has exhibited extensively. Solo exhibitions include: Rodney Graham. Phonokinetoscope, Garage MCA, Moscow (2021); Artists and Models, Serlachius Museum Gösta, Mänttä (2020–21); That’s Not Me, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, and IMMA–Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2017–2018); Canadian Impressionist, Canada House, London (2017); Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2017); You should be an artist, Le Consortium, Dijon (2016); Rodney Graham, Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2015); Rodney Graham: Torqued Chandelier Release, Art Institute, Chicago (2013); Rodney Graham – Canadian Humourist, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2012); Through the Forest, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Kunstmuseum, Basel, and MACBA, Barcelona (2010); A Glass of Beer, CAC Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga (2008); Lobbing Potatoes at a Gong, 1969, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2007); How I became a Ramblin’ Man, Kurt Schwitters-Preis-Verleihung der Niedersächsischen Sparkassenstiftung, Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2006); Rodney Graham: A Little Thought, MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (travelling exhibition) (2004-05); Rodney Graham: Filme, Witze und Wiederholung, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden (2004); Rodney Graham: Millennial Time Machine, Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2003); …the nearest faraway place…, Dia Center for the Art, New York (2000).


Selected group exhibitions include: A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920–2020, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022); We never sleep, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main (2020); Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery, London (2020); Out of Order | Positions from the Haubrok Collection Part 2, Neues Museum | Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design Nürnberg, Nuremberg (2020); In the Spotlight of the Night, Marta Herford, Herford (2019–20); Opéra Monde, Centre Pompidou–Metz, Metz (2019); KNOCK KNOCK, Humour in Contemporary Art, South London Gallery, London (2018); Art and Entertainment, MAMCO, Geneva (2018); Against the Current. Journey into the Unknown, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2018); Field Guide, Remai Modern, Saskatoon (2017); Remastered. The Art of Appropriation, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems (2017); Never Ending Stories, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (2017); Duet with Artist. Participation as Artistic Principle, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2017); The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Thinking of a New Way of the World, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2016); Portrait of the Artist as Alter, FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-Lès-Rouen (2016); About Trees, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2015); The Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor, MASS MoCA, North Adams (2014); Season 2 - Imagine the Imaginary, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Big Picture (Orte / Projektionen), K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf (2011); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); 47th Venice Biennale (1997) and dOCUMENTA IX, Kassel (1992).


Among the collections in which Graham’s work is represented are: Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; MACBA, Barcelona; Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin.