Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. 1962, London, UK) moved to Lagos, Nigeria, at age three. He returned to London to study Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA.Read More
Shonibare is well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, film and installation, his work examines race, class and the construction of cultural identity through a sharp political commentary of the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their intersecting economic and political histories. Shonibare uses wry citations of western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities.
In 2004 Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize and was awarded the decoration of Member of the ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ or MBE, a title he has added to his professional name.
In 2002 Shonibare was commissioned by Okwui Enwezor at Documenta 11, Kassel to create his most recognised work Gallantry and Criminal Conversation that launched him on an international stage. Since then, his works have formed part of prominent collections, including the Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York–among others.
In 2013, he was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London. 2010 saw the artist’s first public art commission, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square where it was on display until 2012.
Ruins Decorated (1 September–6 October 2018) was Shonibare’s first solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery, marking a rare moment of visibility for the artist’s work on the African continent but also forming part of increasing momentum to engage with his practice, particularly in South Africa. It followed on from Addio Del Passato on Zeitz MOCAA’s inaugural exhibition in 2017, followed by the Norval Foundation’s exhibition of Wind Sculpture (SG) III in February 2019.
The artist lives and works in London, UK.
Text courtesy Goodman Gallery.