The Very Model of a Successful Duel

, by Yinka Shonibare MBE (2006) Photo: Christopher Rawson; courtesy of the artist, James Cohan Gallery, New York and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Summer group shows can function as veritable teasers for the fall art season, and James Cohan’s summer sampling, up through August 10, does just that. Yinka Shonibare MBE, a 2004 Turner Prize finalist whose solo exhibition at the gallery goes up late this year, is showing one of his theatrical sculptures this summer. Shonibare's headless dueling ladies seem to have already accomplished whatever it is duels are supposed to accomplish (they are headless), but remain steadfastly frozen (well, they are sculptures). Shonibare’s Anglo-Nigerian upbringing has inspired his method and media, as he dresses his Victorian characters in African-inspired prints sold in England for their exotic appeal. Can’t you just see Keira Knightley stepping in? —Rachel Wolff