This exhibition has now closed, find out what else is going on at Southampton City Art Gallery



This exhibition brings together over 80 works by a number of celebrated artists, selected and curated by Yinka Shonibare CBE.

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE curates this exhibition exploring the cultural and social dimensions of the use of pattern in modern and contemporary art.

The title of the show is taken from Adolf Loos’ 1908 influential essay ‘Ornament and Crime’. In this essay Loos’ examines the notions of good and bad taste and condemns the use of decoration and craft as an indication of the lowest level of cultural development, claiming ‘the modern man who tattoos himself is a criminal.’ Yinka Shonibare CBE challenges this notion by saying ‘Adolf Loos was clearly a man of his time in his snobbish revolutionary zeal to abandon ornamentation as he saw it as the pre-occupation of the working classes and degenerates’.

Included in the exhibition are a range of works that Shonibare has chosen to challenge the notion of the ornament as crime. Shonibare looks to embrace colour, ornament and pattern as a means for social and political expression.

With a National Art Pass you get

10% off in shop
Valid until December 2020

Ready to discover more? Choose your pass


Exhibitions and events at Southampton City Art Gallery


Exhibitions nearby

Back to top