Akeroyd Collection


Tony Cokes

b. 1956, Richmond, Virginia, U.S; lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.

Tony Cokes's artwork concerns popular culture and mass entertainment. His videos frequently take the form of essays in which Cokes displays excerpts and fragments of texts from existing sources on brightly-colored backgrounds, set to music. The sometimes distinct combinations of sound and image create particular resonance or disharmony, building multiple affective and textual registers for viewers. Cokes combines quotes from a range of materials including critical theory, cultural studies, art criticism, and news reports. His sources include Louis Althusser, Malcom X, Public Enemy, Mark Fisher and William Burroughs to name a few. Themes of racial tension in America, the representation of violence when it is not the state committing it, protest and the dissonance of the media landscape. The methods deployed by Cokes enable him to be immediately responsive to current events and yet, the format holds a timeless quality in light of ongoing, intersectional political struggles.

Tony Cokes's recent projects include Tony Cokes: Two Works and an Archive, Hessel Museum of Art, New York (2024); Dia Art Foundation / The Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton, New York (2023); Fragments, or just Moments, Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein München, Munich (2022); On Clubbing, Mourning, and Critique, Greene Naftali, New York (2022); Tony Cokes: Market of the Senses, Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester (2021); This isn’t theory. This is history., MACRO Contemporary Art Museum, Rome (2021); 4 Voices / 4 Weeks, CIRCA, London (2021); Tony Cokes: Music, Text, Politics, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); If UR Reading this It’s 2 Late: Vol 3, ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); If UR Reading this It’s 2 Late: Vol 2, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); To Live as Equals, BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Before and After the Studio: Volume II, Luma Westbau, Zurich (2019); If UR Reading this It’s 2 Late: Vol 1, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); Collision/Coalition: Tony Cokes and Oscar Murillo, The Shed, New York (2019); Evil, Mediation, and Power, Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2018); and Tony Cokes: Retro (Pop, Terror, Critique), REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012).

For further information about this artist please click here.