James Cohan

7 - 23 October 2021

New York-based gallery James Cohan presented ‘I Dare Not Appear,’ a solo exhibition of new work by Christopher Myers.

‘I Dare Not Appear’ brought together new applique textile works with a collection of historical letters written by Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a young Egbado girl bequeathed to Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy in 1850. Raised at the interstices of global imaginaries of race, class, and colonialism, Forbes Bonetta’s life serves as an apt illustration of the conceptual knots of Victorian England: an era characterised by a mindset that could simultaneously trample the world in colonial endeavour and see itself as civilising souls like Sarah Forbes Bonetta. Seven of Forbes Bonetta’s letters from the collection of the artist’s family was exhibited for the first time, which offered an intimate counterpoint to the large-scale tapestries created by Myers.






Christopher Myers, Funnyhouse Of A Negro, 2018 (detail). Appliqué fabric, 84 x 144 inches, 213.4 x 365.8 cm. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan.


Christopher Myers, Hiding Under Petticoats, 2018. Appliqué fabric, 72 x 48 inches, 182.9 x 121.9 cm. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan.


Hand-written letter by Sarah Forbes Bonetta, dated 5/16/1861 or 16th June, 1861. Myers Family Collection. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan.


Portrait of Christopher Myers, courtesy the artist and James Cohan.