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Acons/Rodney

Review relating to an exhibition, 1989
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 1989
Unpaginated.

image of Acons/Rodney

Single sheet A4 portrait / monochrome photocopy from original clipping / taken from the Guardian, no date, no page ref. Review of work by Catherine Acons, at Mappin Art Gallery and Crisis by Donald Rodney at Graves Art Gallery. Written by Robert Clark.

Related people

»  Donald Rodney

Born, 1961 in Birmingham, England. Died, 1998

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Chisenhale Gallery

London, United Kingdom

»  Graves Art Gallery

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Black Navy History | Yinka Shonibare

Letter relating to an individual, 2010
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2010
Unpaginated.

image of Black Navy History | Yinka Shonibare

Dr Alan Rice. a Reader in American Cultural Studies, at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, wrote this letter, about ‘Black [British] navy history’ appared in the Guardian, Thursday 27 May 2010, p.41.

Rice’s letter was prompted by the Guardian’s coverage, earlier that week, of Yinka Shonibare’s fourth plinth sculpture.

“It is tremendous that there is now such an extravagantly rigged memorial to Britain’s multicultural presence in Trafalgar Square, in Yinka Shonibare’s HMS Victory in a bottle (Report, 25 May). In all the commentary on the memorial, however, its full historical resonances have been missed.”

Rice goes on to briefly reference aspects of Black British naval history.

Related people

»  Alan Rice

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

Related venues

»  Chisenhale Gallery

London, United Kingdom

»  Graves Art Gallery

Sheffield, United Kingdom

A bright new wave - Chris Ofili

Article relating to an exhibition, 2010
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2010
Number of pages: 4

image of A bright new wave - Chris Ofili

A bright new wave was the title of a feature on Chris Ofili in the Guardian Weekend magazine of Saturday 16 January 2010. The feature itself, on pages 24 - 27 of the magazine, related to Ofili’s mid-career retrospective at the Tate Britain, 27 January - 16 May 2010. “Having made his name and some controversy with elephant dung, Chris Ofili moved to the Caribbean for a fresh start. Now he’s returning to England for a major new show. He tells Gary Younge why he finally feels able to be himself. Portrait by Horace Ové”. Earlier in the magazine, the feature had been trailed as Been There Dung That – Why did Chris Ofili turn his back on art? And why make a comeback now?

Two of Ofili’s paintings accompany Younge’s piece and one quote from Ofili is highlighted within the feature. ‘Success? You have to leave the real you at home because the fake Chris Ofili has been invited to dinner’ 

Younge’s feature opened with, “A couple of years after he won the 1998 Turner Prize, Chris Ofili was in Atlantis art store in the East End of London, buying huge quantities of paint and holding up a queue. When he handed over his credit card, the cashier recognised his name and struck up a conversation about his work. A student standing behind Ofili then joined in with some excitement. “Are you Chris Ofili?” he asked. “In art school, the word was you’d given up.” Ofili was delighted. “Go back and tell your friends that I’ve definitely given up,” he replied. “Just don’t tell them you saw me buying this much paint or they won’t believe you.” “

The substantial feature was accompanied by a large portrait of Ofili, taken in his studio, by veteran photographer and film-maker, Horace Ové

The Guardian and its Weekend magazine was responsible for a significant number of features on Ofili. One of the first was Within These Walls, Guardian Weekend, November 25 2000, pp. 59 – 66. The piece looked at the ways in which a number of houses had been remodelled, and included photographs of Ofili’s London home. Guardian Weekend magazine went on to produce substantial features on Ofili in two issues. The first, which featured a detail of a work by Ofili on its cover, together with the cover text Chris Ofili Paints His Way to Paradise. The feature, written by Jonathan Jones, was titled Paradise Reclaimed, Saturday 15 June 2002, pp. 18 – 23 and p. 95. The second was A bright new wave. Beyond this, another substantial piece of Guardian coverage on Ofili was a full-page feature, in the main newspaper, on his 2010 mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain. Charlotte Higgins, In retrospect, Turner prize winner Ofili has gone from urban jungle to Caribbean vision, 26 January 2010, p. 7. For good measure, the Guardian G2 supplement of the same issue included a comment piece on Ofili, written by longtime Ofili admirer, Adrian Searle. Adrian Searle, Chris Ofili heads into the shadows,

Hip, cool and wildly inventive, Chris Ofili burst onto the scene in the early 90s. Now he’s ditching the dung and the glitter, and going some place darker

The Guardian G2, 26 January 2010, pp. 19 - 21

Related people

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

»  Horace Ové

Born, 1939 in Trindad and Tobago

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom

Who’s Shocking Now?

Article relating to an exhibition, 2007
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2007
Number of pages: 12

image of Who’s Shocking Now?

Innovative telling of the story of the Turner Prize, told through profiles of each of the winners thus far, most of whom are interviewed for the piece. Who’s Shocking Now?  by Charlotte Higgins appeared in Guardian Weekend magazine, 8 September 2007, pp.18 - 35. Many of the artists themselves are, within the feature decidely critical of the Turner Prize, even though winning the prize was invariably a major boost to an artist’s career and profile. The cover of the magazine featured a portrait of Damien Hirst, with the words, “A stupid, corrupt horse race” ‘The Turner Prize, according to Damien Hirst. What do the other 21 winners think?’ Overleaf, on the contents page, the piece was trailed as Shock therapy When it began in 1984, the Turner prize sparked controversy. Today, it is the world’s best known art award. But what does it mean for the artists? We ask all the past winners how it changed their lives.

Damien Hirst’s contribution, trailed not only on the cover, was further expanded in a lower section of the contents page. “The Turner prize I’ve never much liked the idea of an art prize. It’s just elitist crap for the media, and it’s fixed anyway. Winning didn’t change my life at all. At least that’s what I’m telling you. But actually, when I’m on my own in the studio, I still can’t stop singing Simply the Best.”

Portraits of the winners appear alongside the respective sections on each winner.  The article began with, “’Like being a Holocaust survivor’, ‘All a bit crap’, ‘A homecoming’, ‘Nice for the parents’ - as a retrospective exhibition gathers up the work of the 22 winners of the Turner prize, Charlotte Higgins asked them all what it was really like to win the world’s best known art award.” The Turner Prize: A Retrospective ran from 2 October - 6 January 2008 at Tate Britain.

Nothing is made of the politics of race within the visual arts within Who’s Shocking Now? For instance, that when Indian-born sculptor Anish Kapoor won the Turner Prize in 1991, he was the first non British born artist to do so. Or that when Chris Ofili was shortlisted for the Turner Prize exhibition of 1998, held at Tate Britain, from late October 1998 to early January the following year, he became the first British-born Black artist to be so honoured. The other shortlisted artists – Sam Taylor–Wood, Cathy de Monchaux, and Tacita Dean – were also of the yBa generation that had come, and indeed would continue, to dominate Tuner Prize shortlists. The award was, in due course, made to Ofili, who had, according to the official Tate publicity of the time, been shortlisted “for the inventiveness, exuberance, humour and technical richness of his painting, with its breadth of cultural reference, as revealed in his solo exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery and in Sensation at the Royal Academy, London.” (1) Ofili went on to win the Turner Prize and in this endeavour his painting, No Woman No Cry, (which was the star of his display) helped him. A reproduction of the piece, rather than a portrait of Ofili himself, accompanied his section of Who’s Shocking Now.

The winner the following year, 1999, Steve McQueen was, in this feature, still being discussed in terms of Tracey Emin, rather than in terms of McQueen himself. In 1999, Emin not winning the Turner prize was considered more of a story than the winning of the prize itself, by McQueen. The section on McQueen was introduced thus: “This was the Turner prize remembered for the artist who didn’t win: Tracey Emin. The public and press reaction to her notorious bed, with its soiled sheets and bloody knickers, was delight and horror in equal measure. The headline in the Mirror was “Turnoff Prize,” but Emin boasted of making enough money to pack up and retire. The prize in fact went to the art world’s favourite, Steve McQueen.”

(1) See The Turner Prize 1998 (exh. cat.; London: Tate Gallery Publishing 1998)

Related people + view all 23

»  Martin Creed

Born, 1968 in Wakefield, England

»  Richard Deacon

Born, 1949 in Bangor, Wales

»  Jeremy Deller

Born, 1966 in London

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom

Yinka Shonibare Q&A - Guardian Weekend magazine

Article relating to an individual, 2011
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2011
Number of pages: 1

image of Yinka Shonibare Q&A - Guardian Weekend magazine

Yinka Shomnibare Q&A, Guardian Weekend magazine, 30 April 2011, page 8. Interview conducted by Rosanna Greenstreet.

Along with a select number of other artists, including Isaac Julien and Steve McQueen, Yinka Shonibare was given space in features such as this to bandy around references to his career successes, personal life, and biography. The Guardian, in late January 2009, carried a Portrait of the artist: Yinka Shonibare, artist piece. In keeping with such features, it hinged on the idea that readers – casual or otherwise – might be interested in answers to such questions as In the movie of your life, who plays you? What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life? What’s your favourite film? The quotation from Shonibare used to introduce the piece was “I used to think about art above everything. To all the ladies out there – I’ve changed.” Just over two years later, in April 2011, the Guardian again featured Shonibare in a similar Q&A, this time in its Guardian Weekend magazine. The general tenor was similar, Shonibare being asked such questions as ‘When were you happiest?’, ‘What do you most dislike about your appearance?’, and ‘What is your favourite book?’. By now, though, in response to the question ‘Who would play you in a film of your life?’, Shonibare now ventured: “Maybe Lady Gaga?” (In 2009, Will Smith had been his choice.)

Related people

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom

Aubrey Williams obituary, Guardian newspaper

Obituary relating to an individual, 1990
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 1990
Unpaginated.

image of Aubrey Williams obituary, Guardian newspaper

Substantial obituary on Aubrey Williams, that appeared in the Guardian, Tuesday 1 May 1990. This is an original clipping, though the page number is absent.

The obituary was titled Guyana dreaming in paint - a reference to the book on Williams that was in production at the time of the artist’s death. Written by longtime friend and supporter Anne (spelt as Ann in the obituary) Walmsley, the text began, “Aubrey Williams, the Guyanese painter, died in London on Friday after a long fight against cancer. His energy and seriousness of purpose, his generosity and infectious enthusiasm for life, won him devoted friends on both sides of the Atlantic. His marvellous paintings, worked over almost four decades, have awed and delighted those who have seen them, and continue to enrich the lives of those fortunate or wise enough to own one.”

The obituary proceeded with a biographical outline of Williams’ life, continuing into a discussion of his involvement with the Caribbean Artists Movement, active in London in the 1960s and 70s. “CAM’s development in London coincided with the flourishing of new art forms and language in the Caribbean itself, culminating in Carifesta, the first Caribbean regional festival of the arts in Guyana, in 1972, in all of which Aubrey Williams took a leading part. Increasingly, throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, he worked and exhibited as much in the Caribbean as in London, particularly in Jamaica.”

Anne Walmsley concluded her obituary with a reference to the Guyana Dreaming book. “We had all hoped that this book, to which Aubrey Williams himself gave the title, Guyana Dreaming, would be published as a tribute to his 64th birthday on May 8. Instead it will act as a small memorial to a great man.”

The obituary was embellished by a smaller contribution from Denis Bowen and a short addendum from Wilson Harris. Amongst Bowen’s comments, “Aubrey Williams was one of the most outstanding and individual of the artists who exhibited at the New Vision Centre Gallery in London which I directed from 1956 to 1966.” Amongst Harris’s comments, “Aubrey Williams is a painter I have admired for many years. Some of his most memorable canvases create a bridge from the world of light into a web of sensation akin to music.”

The piece is accompanied by a sizeable photograph of Williams, standing in front of one of his paintings, though no picture credit accompanied the portrait.

Related people

»  Denis Bowen

Born, 1921 in Kimberley, South Africa. Died, 2006

»  Wilson Harris, Sir

Born, 1921 in Guyana

»  Aubrey Williams

Born, 1926 in Georgetown, Guyana. Died, 1990

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom

g2 feature on Frank Bowling, Tuesday 03.07.12

Article relating to an individual, 2012
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 1

image of g2 feature on Frank Bowling, Tuesday 03.07.12

Full page feature on painter Frank Bowling, that appeared on page 18 of the g2 section of the Guardian newspaper of 3 July 2012. The feature was illustrated with a colour portrait of Bowling, taken by Martin Godwin. The feature was not titled as such, but two quotes were highlighted. ‘There were lots of fights’, and, in smaller but equally bold type, ‘Everyone was expecting me to paint some kind of protest art. For a while,I fell for it’. The text is introduced with, “He graduated from art school second only to David Hockney - and then gave up on the British art scene. Frank Bowling talks to Laura Barnett about pigeonholes, prejudice, and why he’s still waiting for that really big show”

In the article, Bowling recalls different episodes of his life, and expresses frustration at the Tate’s apparent timidity in not yet giving him a major retrospective. From the text: “Bowling was close to Hockney while at the Royal College; the two artists would go drinking together, and then fast (“for two weeks, we ate only apples and oranges and the odd bowl of rice”). They remain friends. Lucien Freud was another early mentor. “He’d go out of his way to encourage me,” Bowling says. “He’d often drop by - but that didn’t last much past the time I stopped doing figurative painting.”

Later in the text, “Despite his increasing frailty (he has diabetes and chronic back pain, and needs help to get to the further parts of his canvases), Bowling still paints everyday. Naturally, he is pleased by the recent resurgence of interest: six exhibitions so far this year, while the Royal Academy has just published a monograph of his work. “It feels,” he says, “just like the first five years I spent in New York - the working, and writing, and toing and froing from London. I’ve never felt this interest in my work quite as intensely.” And he gives the broad smile of an artist very happy to be rediscovered.”

Related people

»  Frank Bowling OBE, RA

Born, 1935 - 1937 (probably 1936) in British Guiana (now Guyana) Caribbean/S. America

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom