Since the late 1980s, Tony Cokes has appropriated and remixed text, music, and documentary images into videos and installations that investigate the interrelations of politics, popular culture, race, and identity. At Dia Bridgehampton, Cokes presents a new work in dialogue with the material histories of the site, a former firehouse–turned–First Baptist Church. The artist also responds to the permanent Dan Flavin installation on the second floor, which resonates with Cokes’s own conceptual and formal interests in radiant, monochromatic color and light, as well as his increasingly sculptural and context-specific approach to moving-image installations.
While conceptually tethered to Dia Bridgehampton itself, the commission also takes on an expanded presence offsite, punctuating advertisements on the two 61-foot-tall Shinnecock Monument electronic billboards, located along Sunrise Highway (also known as Highway 27). The billboards are operated by the Shinnecock Indian Nation and welcome many visitors arriving by car to Dia Bridgehampton.
Tony Cokes is organized by Jordan Carter, curator, with Emily Markert, curatorial assistant, and Randy Gibson, manager of exhibition technology.
All exhibitions at Dia are made possible by the Economou Exhibition Fund. Tony Cokes at Dia Bridgehampton is made possible by generous support from Alice and Tom Tisch. Additional support provided by Philip E. Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, Allison and Larry Berg, James L. Cahn and Jeremiah J. Collatz, Bilge and Haro Cumbusyan, David Schwartz Foundation, Inc., Hannah Hoffman, Greene Naftali, and the Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation.
Tony Cokes was born in 1956 in Richmond, Virginia. He received a BA from Goddard College, Vermont, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. Cokes participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In 2022 he was the subject of a major survey jointly organized by the Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein in Munich.
Other recent solo exhibitions took place at De Balie, Amsterdam (2022); Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York (2021); and MACRO — Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (2021). His work is in the collections of, among others, the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Recent group exhibitions include Signals: How Video Transformed the World (2023) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The 58th Carnegie International: Is it morning for you yet? (2022–2023) at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. He is a professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Rhode Island. He is the recipient of the 2023 Rome Prize. Cokes lives in Providence, Rhode Island.