British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE chooses eye-popping art from the Arts Council Collection including, film, fashion, ceramics and sculpture.
From a sequined dress by Alexander McQueen to 19th-century wallpaper by William Morris, Yinka Shonibare's selection tells a story of objects that refuse to be confined.
Provocatively referring to early 20th-century architect Adolf Loos’ influential and anti-decoration essay ‘Ornament and Crime’, Shonibare has chosen a vast range of work from the Arts Council Collection that revels in the use of pattern and ornament. In Loos' essay, he examines notions of good and bad taste, condemning the use of decoration and craft as an indication of the lowest level of cultural development, stating, ‘the modern man who tattoos himself is a criminal.’
This exhibition challenges the idea that ornamentation is a crime and instead embraces colour, ornament and pattern as means of social and political expression.
There are 100 works by more than 50 artists including Andy Goldsworthy, Sarah Lucas, Sonia Boyce, Susan Derges, Mona Hatoum, David Nash, Bridget Riley and Yinka Shonibare himself. Taking the Arts Council Collection’s rich and varied holdings as his starting point, Shonibare has supplemented his selection with key loans from the V&A, Crafts Council, William Morris Society and from individual artists based across the UK.