Tony Cokes

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Tony Cokes (born 1956)[1] is an American visual artist.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Cokes was born in Richmond, Virginia. He studied photography and creative writing at Goddard College, and received an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1985.[4]

Art career[edit]


Cokes's artwork concerns popular culture and mass entertainment. In the 1990s, he was part of the band X-PRZ. His videos often take the form of essays in which Cokes displays fragments of found texts on brightly-colored backgrounds[5], set to popular music.[6] They are essays with musical accompaniment.[7] He is known to combine quotes from a range of texts from critical theory, cultural studies, art criticism, and news reports.[8] His sources include Louis Althusser, Malcolm X, Public Enemy, and William Burroughs.[8]


Cokes now teaches at Brown University and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.[6]


Cokes work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Kitchen, and Artists Space.[4] He was included in the 10th Berlin Biennal, and has shown at the Hessel Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, ZKM Karlsruhe, and Goldsmiths Center for Contemporary Art.[9] Cokes is represented by Greene Naftali Gallery in New York.[10] Cokes was included in a 2019 exhibition at The Shed.[11]


  1. ^ "UbuWeb Film & Video: Tony Cokes". Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  2. ^ Boucher, Brian (2012-12-23). "Tony Cokes". Art in America. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  3. ^ "Tony Cokes | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  4. ^ a b "Word 2 My Mother, Museum of Modern Art, Press Release" (PDF). November 1991.
  5. ^ "Tony Cokes at Greene Naftali Gallery". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  6. ^ a b "Tony Cokes - Announcements - e-flux". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  7. ^ Smith, Roberta; Farago, Jason; Schwendener, Martha; Steinhauer, Jillian (2018-05-23). "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  8. ^ a b "Electronic Arts Intermix: Tony Cokes : Biography". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  9. ^ "Goldsmiths CCA — TONY COKES". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  10. ^ "Greene Naftali Gallery". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  11. ^ "Collision/Coalition". The Shed. Retrieved 2019-10-01.