Installation shot of work by Jimmie Durham as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International at The Hepworth Wakefield. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Danny Lawson / PA wire

Jimmie Durham

The Hepworth Wakefield

Jimmie Durham creates in an array of mediums: drawings, installations, video —which he uses to document his performances—, and sculptural constructions often combined with written messages, photographs, and objects. Covering a broad range of topics in artworks as well as in essays and poetry, his production is often laced with the agility of wordplay, a dry, highly critical humour and, above all, insight. He consistently addresses the political and cultural forces that construct our contemporary discourses, the history of oppression, the futility of violence, and the powerlessness of the minorities in the world.

Jimmie Durham’s sculptures often combine parts of industrial equipment and domestic furniture, that have been formed with little regard to their raw materials, with found wood or stone, allowing him to explore the human urge to control the material properties.

For Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019, totemic sculptures by Jimmie Durham were positioned in conversation with early sculptures and carvings by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore at The Hepworth Wakefield. Highlighting how each artist created their work to emphasise the natural properties of the raw material.

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Jimmie Durham had his first solo show in 1965; ever since he has had many important solo exhibitions: Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2018), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017-2018), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017), The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2017); Evidence, Mönchehaus Museum Goslar, Germany (2017); Jimmie Durham: God’s Children, God’s Poem, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (2017); Jimmie Durham. Sound and Silliness, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2016); Jimmie Durham: Various Items and Complaints, Serpentine Gallery, London (2015); Venice: Objects, Work and Tourism, Museo della Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2015); Jimmie Durham, Here at the Center, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin (2015).

b. 1940, USA
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

The Hepworth Wakefield

This award-winning art gallery is set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront overlooking the River Calder.

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