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Serpentine South
12 April – 1 September 2024

Image: Yinka Shonibare CBE: Suspended States, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine South. © Yinka Shonibare CBE 2024. Photo: © Jo Underhill. Courtesy Yinka Shonibare CBE and Serpentine

It coincides with the artist’s presentation at the 60th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia from April 2024.

For over 30 years, Yinka Shonibare CBE has used Western art history and literature to explore contemporary culture and national identities. Suspended States is the artist’s first London solo exhibition in over 20 years. It showcases new works, interrogating how systems of power affect sites of refuge, debates on public statues, the ecological impact of colonialisation and the legacy of imperialism on conflict and consequential attempts at peace.

The exhibition includes two new major installations at Serpentine South. Sanctuary City (2024) is comprised of miniature buildings representing places of refuge for persecuted and vulnerable groups. The War Library (2024) consists of 5,000 books bound in Dutch wax print representing conflicts and peace treaties.

Throughout the exhibition Shonibare’s signature use of Dutch wax print symbolises the tangled relationship between Africa and Europe. This brightly coloured fabric was inspired by Indonesian batik designs, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to British colonies in West Africa, where it later was referred to as ‘African print.’ In Decolonised Structures (2022-2023) the artist paints these patterns on his smaller-scale replicas of London’s large public sculptures. Reconstructing colonial figures such as Queen Victoria and Herbert Kitchener, Shonibare questions the role and presence of these monuments.


Additional works highlight luxurious lifestyles supported by colonisation and the importance of African art to global culture. Shonibare also draws links between the history of xenophobia and the impact of colonisation on the environment in his quilts, including his new series African Bird Magic (2024).

The exhibition also highlights Shonibare’s social practice including his Guest Project experimental space in Hackney and the Guest Artist Space (G.A.S.) Foundation he launched in Nigeria in 2019.



Copyright Text: Serpentine South


Yoko Ono Music of the Mind

15 February – 1 September 2024

Tate Modern

Yoko Ono with Glass Hammer 1967 from HALF-A-WIND SHOW, Lisson Gallery, London, 1967. Photograph © Clay Perry / Artwork © Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono is a leading figure in conceptual and performance art, experimental film and music. Developing her practice in America, Japan and the UK, she is renowned for her activism, work for world peace, and environmental campaigns. Ideas are central to her art, often expressed in poetic, humorous and radical ways.

Spanning more than seven decades, the exhibition focuses on key moments in Ono’s career, including her years in London from 1966 to 1971, where she met John Lennon.

The show explores some of Ono’s most talked about artworks and performances, from Cut Piece (1964), where people were invited to cut off her clothing, to her banned Film No.4 (Bottoms) (1966-67) which she created as a ‘petition for peace’.

Alongside her early performances, works on paper, objects, and music, audiences will discover a selection of her activist projects such as PEACE is POWER and Wish Tree, where visitors can contribute personal wishes for peace.

Through her instructions and event scores, Ono invites visitors to take part in both simple acts of the imagination and active encounters with her works.

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Copyright Text : Tate Modern


Sargent and Fashion

22 February – 7 July 2024

Tate Britain

John Singer Sargent Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1864-1932) 1892 National Galleries of Scotland. Purchased with the aid of the Cowan Smith Bequest Fund 1925

Celebrated for his striking portrait paintings, this exhibition sheds new light on John Singer Sargent’s acclaimed works. It explores how he worked like a stylist to craft the image of the sitters he painted, who he often had close relationships with.

Sargent used fashion as a powerful tool to express identity and personality. He regularly chose the outfits of his collaborators or manipulated their clothing. This innovative use of costume was central to his artwork – for example, tugging a heavy coat tighter around a man to emphasise his figure or letting a dress strap sensuously slip from a woman’s shoulder. It was these daring sartorial choices that allowed him to express his vision as an artist.

Almost 60 of Sargent’s paintings will be on display, including major portraits that rarely travel. Several period garments will also be showcased alongside the portraits they were worn in. The show examines how this remarkable painter used fashion to create portraits of the time, which still captivate today.

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Copyright Text : Tate Britain