The Hunterian: Jimmy Robert: Tobacco Flower

Jimmy Robert 03

11 June–5 September 2021

Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Admission free and by pre-booked timed ticket – Book Tickets


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).


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