Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Yinka Shonibare’s “Addio del Passato” at James Cohan Gallery, New York

by Suzanne on February 28th, 2012


Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton – Henry Wallis) by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, 2011, digital chromogenic print, framed: 58 5/8 x 71 1/4 in. (148.91 x 180.98 cm) – click to enlarge

To be perfectly honest with you, I would even post about this show if I didn’t like a single artwork on display other than Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton) (top) because channeling my favourite accidental (?) suicide painting of all time will always get you a mention on here.

Oh, wait, and there’s that… that fucking machine… err… pardon me, Anti-Hysteria Device (bottom). Yeah.

For Addio del Passato, British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare has once again worked with his signature fabrics and created beautifully lavish costumes in bold colours and absolutely delectable opulent interiors achieving a gorgeous chiaroscuro of fabrics, textures and complexions so rich that you’re almost forgetting you’re actually looking at scenes of death. Well, at least a series of photographic re-enactments of famous death and suicide scenes of art history.

Overall, I will have to admit that I preferred the works from Yinka‘s Goya phase but you know me – I just like to complain.

Btw, if you missed Yinka‘s beautiful Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle on Trafalgar Square’s Forth Plinth, you might be able to see it at the National Maritime Museum in future if their campaign to save it from being sold is successful. Meanwhile, Elmgreen and Dragset have put a semi-nude very camp golden boy ridin’ a poneh in its place and I’m of course always very pleased about any kind of prepuberty sleaze in public squares.

Details below.


Anti-Hysteria Device by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, 2011, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, wood, metal with motor, 30 3/8 x 41 x 18 7/8 in. (77 x 104 x 48 cm), photograph: Stephen White – click to enlarge

On show: Feb 16 – Mar 24, 2012

Address: James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street New York NY 10001, USA, tel: 212.714.9500, email: info@jamescohan.com

Hours: Tue – Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM

Preview | Press release

Artist’s website

WurzelForum discussion

by suzanne_tumblr on October 29th, 2009

Top:Crash Willy by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, 2009, mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, fibreglass and metal, 132 x 198 x 260 cm

Middle: Willy Loman: The Rise and Fall (Paradise) by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, 2009, C-type print, 228.6 x 177.8 cm

Bottom: The Big Three (Ford) by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, 2009, mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather and wood, 175 x 120 x 89 cm

AND… it’s been a magnificent day for the arts too:

First up was Yinka Shonibare’s new show at Stephen Friedman.

I think the last show I’ve seen there was Yoshitomo Nara many, many moons ago and even though their shows are always very well presented (and lit!), the staff hasn’t really learned anything about friendliness, but having said that, their office is right inbetween the two gallery rooms so I can somewhat understand how irritated you might get with all those visitors and their stupid questions. What I cannot understand, however, is that they had neither floor plans nor work lists available.

But anyways, if you’re in Londinium before November 20, go see it, if you’re not, don’t worry – the whole thing is online.

And as for you, monsieur Friedman: Please give your employees a proper office – I’m sure they deserve it and maybe buy a cheap HP printer so that visitors could take floor plans and work details home with them? Merci bien. :)

by suzanne_tumblr on September 25th, 2009

© Yinka Shonibare MBE

I know.. featured on the WurzelBlog® a few times before, but I just felt that these would go nicely with Whitfield Lovell’s work below.

Yinka Shonibare MBE at James Cohan, NY: Final Days

by Suzanne on May 15th, 2008


The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Asia), by Yinka Shonibare MBE, 2008 (après Goya)

Final chance for New Yorkers to see Yinka Shonibare MBE‘s glorious Prospero’s Monsters exhibition at James Cohan Gallery.

Named after a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sculptures and photographs focus on the dark sides of the Enlightenment, colonialism and imperialism and show disability and mutilation where historiography wants us to see progress towards “civilisation”.

Shonibare says:

“I think the search for authenticity in culture is a noble one, but actually, in reality, it’s very rare to find a culture that hasn’t evolved as a result of influences from other cultures.”

If you can’t attend the show, make sure to watch the gallery’s short video interview with the artist. It informs you - inter alia - where in London Shonibare buys the gorgeous fabrics to dress up his beheaded mannequins.

Closes: Saturday, May 17, 2008

Address: James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001, tel: 212 714 9500

Installation views | Selected works | Video interview