Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014

About

Goodman Gallery Cape Town is pleased to present History Doesn’t Laugh, a solo exhibition by Hank Willis Thomas first seen in our Johannesburg gallery earlier this year, which highlights the artist’s interest in representing photographic ideas through unconventional materials.

For this exhibition, Thomas scoured numerous publications and archives looking for graphics, images and audio that exemplify, through popular culture, South Africa’s recent history. The result is a fascinating combination of installations, objects, and prints that present the visual complexities of the not-so-distant past.

A series of photo-derived sculptures cast in aluminum, silicone and bronze reframe the original image by focusing on the impact of hand gestures. In his more familiar style, the artist appropriates graphically striking political buttons and increases them in size to large-scale wall hangings. The exhibition also includes screen-printed images from various magazines, re-contextualised in a manner that exaggerates the hyper-reality of the time in which they were originally produced.

Thomas is known for his extensive use of archival visual records to work through ideas that address the social constructions of race, gender, and commodity. He uses the black body in advertising to articulate how these ideas are generated in perpetuated in consumer culture. Recognising the similarity in histories between the United States and South Africa, Thomas revitalises and enhances his techniques to compliment his traditional oeuvre. In doing so, he smartly decodes popular images with the intention of proposing and unveiling new social and cultural meanings.

  • Raise Up

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Raise Up, 2014

    Bronze / Bronze cast

    204 x 30 x 30 cm / 204 x 30 x 30cm / 285 x 25 x 10 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Hank Willis Thomas

    History doesn't laugh, 2014

    Ink Print on white retroflective material / Photo reflective print

    103 x 123cm / 99 x 119 cm (38,98...

  • Victory is certain

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Victory is certain, 2014

    Assegai wood

    108 x 8 x 8cm

  • Die Dompas Moet Brand ! (The Passbook must Burn!)

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Die Dompas Moet Brand ! (The Passbook must Burn!), 2014

    Bronze and copper shim

    7 life cast arms holding pass books

    Editi...

  • Peace and Freedom

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Peace and Freedom, 2014

    Fiberglass and aluminum

    89cm in diameter

    Edition of 3

  • An injury to one is and an injury to all

    Hank Willis Thomas

    An injury to one is and an injury to all, 2014

    Fiberglass and aluminum

    89cm in diameter

    Edition of 3

  • Freedom in our lifetime

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Freedom in our lifetime, 2014

    prefabricated dry walling, security wire and spray paint

    2.5m x 4m x 49 cm

  • Terrific

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Terrific, 2014

    Carborundum print

    96.5 x 127cm

    Edition of 5

  • My pleasure

    Hank Willis Thomas

    My pleasure, 2014

    Carborundum print

    96.5 x 127cm

    Edition of 5

  • A Luta Continua

    Hank Willis Thomas

    A Luta Continua , 2014

    Alimunium

    80 x 320 x 50cm

    Edition of 5

  • Stretch Mark Cream

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Stretch Mark Cream, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    76 x 45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Stitch Everything

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Stitch Everything, 2014

    Inkjet print on Museum etching paper with carborundum flockin

    40.6x76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Muscle Builder

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Muscle Builder, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    76 x 45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Invisible Body Wrap

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Invisible Body Wrap, 2014

    C-print with Carborundum

    55.8 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Kung Fu

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Kung Fu, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    50 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Afro American mail order

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Afro American mail order, 2012

    Carborundum print

    29.7 x 152.45cm

    Edition of 1

  • Long Hair

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Long Hair, 2014

    Inkjet print on Museum etching paper with carborundum flocking

    76x45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Protect-O-Stick

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Protect-O-Stick, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    76 x 45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Quartz Watch

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Quartz Watch, 2014

    Inkjet print on Museum etching paper with carborundum flocking

    63.5x76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Exciting Offer

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Exciting Offer, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    Edition of 1

  • Varicose Veins

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Varicose Veins , 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    76 x 45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Develop Striking Power

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Develop Striking Power, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    Edition of 1

  • Engraving Tool

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Engraving Tool, 2014

    Inkjet print on Museum etching paper with carborundum flocking

    76x45.7cm

    Edition of 1

  • Cobra Pistol

    Hank Willis Thomas

    Cobra Pistol, 2014

    Digital C-print with Carborundum

    50 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Installation picture [Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014]