Banksy has announced his first official solo exhibition in 14 years. Titled CUT & RUN: 25 years card labour, it will open at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art on Sunday.
The show features prominent work from across Banksy’s career. Original stencils have been used to recreate paintings, including Kissing Coppers and Mobile Lovers. At the same time, the exhibition also features a detailed model explaining how Banksy famously shredded Girl With Balloon at a Sotheby’s auction in 2018.
The Union Jack-adorned stab vest that Stormzy wore at Glastonbury in 2019 also appears in Cut & Run, as do works only ever seen in the West Bank before now. These include a pillow fight between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian citizen.
Though Bansky organised Dismaland in Somerset in 2015, which was a collaboration between over 50 artists, including Damien Hirst.
CUT & RUN will run from this weekend until 28 August and will open during weekends as well as overnight on Saturday and Sunday. The BBC reports there are plans for the exhibition to tour.
“I’ve kept these stencils hidden away for years mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage,” Banksy said in a statement.
“But that moment seems to have passed, so now I’m exhibiting them in a gallery as works of art. I’m not sure which is the greater crime.”
Despite his ever-growing fame, Banksy has not given a face-to-face interview since 2003 and has never revealed his identity. His last solo show was in 2009 and titled Banksy versus Bristol Museum.
Despite the hiatus from exhibitions, a number of unofficial Banksy exhibitions have appeared across the world during the last 14 years. The most prominent of these is The Art of Banksy, an unsanctioned show that is scheduled to return to London this summer after travelling the globe.
These exhibitions were referenced in Banksy’s statement. He said he had been “plagued by a number of unsanctioned global exhibitions in recent years,” adding, “while the unauthorised Banksy shows might look like sweepings from my studio floor, CUT & RUN really is the actual sweepings from my studio floor.”
When CUT & RUN opens this Sunday, it won’t be the first time Banksy’s work has been shown in Glasgow. In 2001, before he became a household name, Banksy held an exhibition at the city’s The Arches venue, working with Jamie Reid – most famous for his graphic design work for the Sex Pistols.
The reason why he has decided to host the exhibition at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art first is because his “favourite work of art in the UK” is right outside. “For anyone who isn’t aware – the statue out the front has had a cone on its head continuously for the past 40 odd years. Despite the best efforts of the council and the police, every time one is removed, another takes its place.” The statue dates to 1844 and is of the Duke of Wellington sitting on a horse.