Hank Willis Thomas: An All Colored Cast
Raul Guerrero: Sonoran Desert: Flora, Fauna, Artifacts

Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles / United States

January 18–March 7, 2020
January 13, 2020
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
United States

T +1 310 586 6886
[email protected]


Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present solo exhibitions by Hank Willis Thomas and Raul Guerrero opening at the gallery on January 18, 2020.

In the Main Gallery will be Hank Willis Thomas: An All Colored Cast, Thomas’ first solo exhibition with the gallery. This exhibition is an exploration of color theory, popular culture, the development of Pop Art, Color Field painting, Minimalism, and the Hollywood film industry. In this new body of work, Thomas examines the portrayals of gender, race, and identity through the lens of film, performance, and color motion pictures.

Using color theory and screen color calibration charts as an aesthetic starting point, Thomas re-examines the language surrounding “color correction” and “white balance” in order to demonstrate the charged language of color, particularly around the time of desegregation and the proliferation of Technicolor in America.

Thomas is interested in the notions of perspective and perception, specifically how framing and context influence what and how a viewer sees. The retroreflective prints and sculptural works on view in the exhibition are largely inspired by the work of Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Albers, and Andy Warhol; 20th century performers such as Bert Williams, Hattie McDaniel, and Fredi Washington; and the pioneering work of major motion-picture directors such as Gordon Parks.

With an ongoing fascination in the framing of history, Thomas draws upon appropriated, and in this case, archival film images, Hollywood stills, and mid-century black-cast posters. His sculptures create both a pause for reflection and an opportunity for the viewer to step into the frame, while his retroreflective works—which are activated by flash photography—encourage a viewer to look closely. Through this invitation to participate, the viewer plays an active role as an agent and image-maker.

Hank Willis Thomas lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions of his work have been featured at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY among others.

In the South Gallery will be Raul Guerrero: Sonoran Desert: Flora, Fauna, Artifacts. This will be the first exhibition of the artist with the gallery and will include recent paintings that investigate place, history and the artist’s biographical relationship to the Sonoran Desert region.

Guerrero’s paintings piece together like snapshots that lend themselves to a larger narrative. One painting titled Canyon de Chelly, comes from a photograph the artist took in 1989. While standing opposite of the famous cliff dwellings, he looked down and spotted a pile of multi-colored stones that beckoned him to be rearranged into a portrait. Years later he reflects on the photograph and understands that the act of arranging the stones was an attempt to channel the former inhabitants of the dwellings.

Also included in the show are a new series of paintings on rotating discs. These works appropriate iconography from the Hohokam and Mimbres culture, two indigenous societies that occupied the Northern Region of the Southwest. These motorized paintings spin at a slow pace of 9 rpm. Akin to Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs which were made to create an optical illusion that would change one’s perception of depth, Guerrero’s paintings turn history onto its head.

Raul Guerrero has been exploring identity and culture through his practice for over four decades. Having attended Chouinard Art Institute in the late 1960s, Guerrero became influenced by a generation of Los Angeles artists, like John Baldessari or Ed Ruscha, that had investigated the regional environment. Working alongside friends such as Allan Ruppersberg, Jack Goldstein and William Leavitt, Guerrero’s practice articulated his position as a Mexican-American artist in Southern California.

Raul Guerrero lives and works in San Diego, CA. Solo exhibitions include the San Francisco Art Institute (1976), the Long Beach Museum of Art (1977) and the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library (2007 & 2013). His 1989 retrospective exhibition was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.