Caroline Coon – The Great Offender
4 May – 27 May (Preview 3 May)
Caroline Coon, the radical and provocative London artist, as The Great Offender, brings her large feminist paintings to The Gallery Liverpool.
Her exhibition is one of the highlights of the gallery’s 2018 programme, ‘Perpetual Provocateurs’, presenting the voices and artists of the British counterculture curated by DuoVision.
Caroline Coon, a lifelong political activist, has worked at the vanguard of cultural movements that have provoked social change in Britain; the hippie ‘peace and love’ underground, punk rock and feminism.
In the late 1960’s, as student of fine art at Central St Martins, she founded RELEASE, the welfare service that is today the national centre of expertise on drugs, the law and human rights. The RELEASE BUST CARD, the first ‘know your rights’ bust card in the world, was designed, created and distributed from her studio in July 1967. In the 1980’s she managed The Clash, and designed the global revolution poster for their second album, ‘Give em Enough Rope’. Her early punk photographs have been published around the world and used as covers on The Clash single ‘White Riot’, The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ and Babyshambles ‘Janie Jones/Strumerville’.
Her artwork is didactic, structured around narrative and imprinted by Pop Art, Feminist Art and the politics of sexual liberation. With hermaphroditic, she/he human or queer figures she confronts and destabilises patriarchal, binary sexual stereotypes.
In contrast to society’s acceptance of the female nude, Coon’s honest depiction of the male nude has been considered shocking – in 1995 the Tate Gallery banned her ‘Mr Olympia’ painting because it showed an erect penis.
This is her first solo painting exhibition.