reviews

Hank Willis Thomas

Ben Brown Fine Arts | London

“The Beautiful Game,” Hank Willis Thomas’s first solo exhibition in London, built on his ongoing study of the relationship between sports, nationalism, and the history of slavery in the United States. Previous works have included photographs such as Scarred Chest, 2004, which shows the Nike logo digitally rendered on a black body as a raised scarification, and The Cotton Bowl, 2011, depicting a US football player in a starting pose mirrored by a man picking cotton. Here, taking the transnational legacy of European football as his focus, Thomas presented ten quilts composed like (or even directly copying) modernist paintings, made of various jerseys from teams such as Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool, and rugby strips including those for New Zealand, Tonga, and South Africa—their sponsorship logos, from Adidas to Etihad, featuring prominently—and a suite of fiberglass or

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.