15 November 14 December 2014The Crypt Gallery, St. Pancras Church, London


The first UK solo exhibition of recent work by celebrated Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen has it origins in his ’Cosmopolitan Chicken Project’ which debuted in London as part of Lisson Gallery’s groundbreaking group exhibition ‘A Shot in the Head’ (2000). Vanmechelen’s project began with the crossbreed of two purebred chickens (Mechelse Koekoek x Poulet De Bresse) with every subsequent generation crossed with a purebred chicken. The artist’s chickens, created by crossing different races, share a great many characteristics with all their different crossbred ‘parents’, thus carrying cosmopolitan genetic material. This work goes on to illustrate how we might evolve on the planet through increasing migration and exchange of genetic material that could result in a cosmopolitan human genome thereby progressively erasing the obvious outward racial differences.




James Putnam is an independent curator/writer and currently Senior Research Fellow, Exhibitions at University of the Arts, London. He studied Art History at London University and went on to join the Egyptian Antiquities and then the Education Departments of the British Museum having curated contemporary projects both for and independently of the Museum. He initiates projects with a cross-disciplinary approach, working with visual and performing artists, designers, writers and cultural studies specialists. He develops residencies, installations, talks and performances and conferences in collaboration with national and international institutions. He was on the Advisory Committee for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Niigata, Japan (2005 -6) and for the 2010 Busan Biennale. He has organized exhibitions at unusual venues which combine contemporary art with historic sites and artefacts, like the ongoing series of exhibitions he curates at the Freud Museum, London.


He lives and works in London.


Click here for more information about James Putnam.


Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts has been a gallerist and writer for the past three decades in New York, London and Paris, most recently as partner to Thaddaeus Ropac (2005-12) and previously managing director of Lisson Gallery, London (1995-2005). She was for a decade in the 1980’s director of John Gibson Gallery, New York. Her work as a gallerist has been noted not only for working intensely with artists, but too in helping institutions and private foundations with acquisitions of important works; she has also originated and coordinated major international travelling museum exhibitions for well-known international contemporary artists. She has recently been appointed curator for The Philippe Meaille Collection of Art and Language Works.


She lives and works between London and Paris.