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Yinka Shonibare | Decaptivating

Article relating to an exhibition, 2009
Published by: Time magazine
Year published: 2009
Number of pages: 2
Unpaginated.

image of Yinka Shonibare | Decaptivating

Feature on Yinka Shonibare in Time magazine (USA), July 6, 2009 (Volume 173, Number 26). The “EXHIBITIONS“ piece was titled “DecaptivatingYinka Shonibare’s headless sculptures make a witty damning commentary on colonialism. The feature was written by Richard Lacayo and references Shonibare’s “cartwheeling midcareer retrospective, which has just opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City…. Three reproductions of Shonibare’s work are featured, including a large image of Scramble for Africa 2003.

The text opens as follows “Even by the standards of a globalized world, you won’t find many artists more transnational than Yinka Shonibare. He was born in the U.K. of Nigerian parents, spent his childhood shuttling between London and Lagos and, for the past decade or so, has been one of those international figures whose work turns up, often accompanied by its creator, on every continent. Four years ago, when Queen Elizabeth II made Shonibare a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), his leftish friends expected him to turn the award down. Instead, he just bolted the letters MBE to his name, but with a very broad wink. “I was always part of the empire,… he says. “Now I“ve been officially incorporated by it.… “

The feature related to a major exhibition of work by Yinka Shonibare, accompanied by a substantial monograph. The exhibition was originated by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia 24 September, 2008 until 1 February, 2009. It then toured to Brooklyn Museum, New York, 26 June - 20 September 2009, and National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 11 November - 7 March 2010. The exhibition garnered a significant amount of press coverage, in addition to the ongoing and substantial attention Shonibare received from critics, art historians and others. Related press included this piece in Time magazine, and an interview with Shonibare, (accompanied by large reproductions of the artist’s work, plus a portrait of the artist himself), in the magazine, Modern Carpets & Textiles for Interiors, London, Summer 2009.

Related people

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Brooklyn Museum

New York, United States of America

»  Museum of Contemporary Art

Sydney , Australia

»  National Museum of African Art Smithsonian Institution

Washington DC, United States of America

Finale for the Fantastical: Washington’s Corcoran mounts a fiery, marvelous folk show.

Article relating to an exhibition, 1982
Published by: Time magazine
Year published: 1982
Number of pages: 2
Unpaginated.

image of Finale for the Fantastical: Washington’s Corcoran mounts a fiery, marvelous folk show.

Exhibition review of Black Folk Art in America, 1930 - 1980, Finale for the Fantastical: Washington’s Corcoran mounts a fiery, marvelous folk show. Time magazine, March 1, 1982. The exhibition was held at the Corcoran, in Washington, D.C.

In the review art critic Robert Hughes wrote very admiringly about the exhibition, which had “opened at the Corcoran last month… Fifty years, 20 artists (most of them completely unknown outside their own communities), and almost 400 works - this is a singular act of discovery. Lovers of the quaint need not attend, for there is something fiery, marvelous and strong every ten feet.”

In this review, Hughes was particularly taken with self-taught artist James Hampton’s magnificent work, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, c. 1950-64, 180 pieces in total configuration, gold and silver aluminium foil, kraft paper and plastic over wood furniture, paperboard and glass.

Wrote Hughes “[the exhibition’s] masterpiece… is James Hampton’s Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly. Hampton (1909-64), a janitor for the General Services Administration in Washington, started his own sect, of which he was the only member. The Throne was his life’s work. It occupied him for 15 years, and it was still unfinished, locked in a rented garage, at his death. It was provoked by visions of Moses, the Virgin Mary and Adam. They inspired him to raise a monument, not to a past event but to a future one - the Second Coming of Christ. [The work’s] centrepiece would be a throne on which God would sit, surrounded by his angels and saints.”

Hughes devoted a significant amount of his review to Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, concluding, somewhat ruefully, that “nothing else in in the show is quite so majestic…” Hughes argued that the exhibition represented a passing moment in time, or the end of an era, and that societal changes worked against the continued flourishing of contemporary Black folk art. He concluded, emotively, that “When popular culture becomes the quantified product of skilled technicians - something done to people and not by them - folk art dies. So one should see it now. It will not be here tomorrow. This is the last of it.”

Related people + view all 6

»  Sam Doyle

»  James Hampton

Born, 1909 in South Carolina, USA. Died, 1964

»  Elijah Pierce

Born, 1892. Died, 1984

Related exhibitions