Hunterian to premiere new work from Jimmy Robert

Published: 4 June 2021

'Tobacco Flower' is a major body of new work by Jimmy Robert, made especially for Glasgow International.

Jimmy Robert: Tobacco Flower
11 June–5 September 2021
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free and by pre-booked timed ticket

Tobacco Flower is a major body of new work by Jimmy Robert, made especially for Glasgow International. The project extends the formal and thematic concerns of his recent work, focusing particularly on relationships between Europe and the Caribbean.

Jimmy Robert is an artist who lives and works in Berlin. Robert’s practice ranges across performance, film, photography, works on paper, and writing. His work subtly explores the intersections between art history, representation and subjectivity. Robert often reconsiders crucial moments from avant-garde art history, questioning their capacity to reflect the political complexities of lived experience, especially from a black, queer perspective.

Figures as varied as Stanley Brouwn, Marguerite Duras, Hokusai, Georges Balanchine, Bas Jan Ader and Yoko Ono have served as points of departure in previous works.

Notable among his recent performance works is Joie Noire (2019), part of a series reflecting on the legacy of Robert’s friend and frequent collaborator Ian White. Using a collage of textual and musical material, this two-person performance addressed the racial and sexual politics of the AIDS crisis and the aesthetics of art, music and dance in the 1980s.

Taking tobacco flower textile designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh as a key point of departure, Robert explores multiple traces left by Glasgow's role within colonialism.

Working across several mediums, including film, photography and sound, Robert engages directly with The Hunterian and its historical collections in order to examine the cultural framing of identities and desires. Robert handles such contested material through subtle means and with careful attention to difference and specificity. The work is as concerned with intimate experience as it is with political contexts.

Solo exhibitions include: Akimbo, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2020); Apropos Papier: Jimmy Robert - Plié, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren, Germany (2020); Descendances du nu, CAC - La Synagogue De Delme, France (2016); A Clean Line that Starts from the Shoulder, Museum M, Leuven, Belgium (2015); Vis-à-vis, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, US (2012).

Group exhibitions include: Tender Buttons, Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany (2019); Any frame is a thrown voice, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2018); Relational Undercurrents, Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, US (2018); Rest In the Furrows of My Skin, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Germany (2017); AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2016).

For further information contact:

Dr Dominic Paterson, Curator (Contemporary Art), The Hunterian
Mark Flanagan, Communications Assistant, The Hunterian

Notes to Editors

The Hunterian

The Hunterian is one of the world's leading University museums and one of Scotland’s greatest cultural assets. Built on Dr William Hunter’s founding bequest, The Hunterian collections include scientific instruments used by James Watt, Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin; outstanding Roman artefacts from the Antonine Wall; major natural and life sciences holdings; Hunter’s own extensive anatomical teaching collection; one of the world’s greatest numismatic collections and impressive ethnographic objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific voyages.

The Hunterian is home to one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland and features the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the work of Scottish artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) and the Mackintosh House, the reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home.

The Hunterian has also developed an important collection of works by leading contemporary artists including Lucy Skaer, Ilana Halperin, Mat Collishaw, Mark Dion and Christine Borland.
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First published: 4 June 2021