You must first login or register to follow this artist.
HomePage Artists

b. 1962, United Kingdom

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) Biography

Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art first at Central Saint Martins College and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA.

Read More

Shonibare's work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. Having described himself as a 'post-colonial' hybrid, Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His trademark material is the brightly coloured 'African' fabric he buys at Brixton market. The fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s, the material became a new sign of African identity and independence.

Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004, and he was also awarded the decoration of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or MBE. He has added this title to his professional name. He was notably commissioned by Okwui Enwezor at Documenta 10 in 2002 to create his most recognised work Gallantry and Criminal Conversation that launched him onto an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and internationally at leading museums worldwide. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and then toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Shonibare has also been elected as a Sculptor in the Royal Academy of Arts, making him part of a select society of at most 80 practicing artists working in the UK. This honour, historically a way to distinguish an artist as a professional in Britain, is the art community's recognition of the significance of Shonibare's work.

Shonibare's work Nelson's Ship in a Bottle was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission, and was displayed in Trafalgar Square, London until January 2012. It was the first commission by a black British artist and was part of a national fundraising campaign organised by the Art Fund and the National Maritime Museum, who have now successfully acquired the sculpture permanently for display outside the museum's new entrance in Greenwich Park, London.

In 2012, the Royal Opera House commissioned Globe Head Ballerina to be displayed on the exterior of the Royal Opera House, overlooking Russell Street in Covent Garden. The life-sized ballerina encased within a giant 'snow globe' spins slowly as if caught mid-dance. The piece appears to encapsulate a moment of performance as if stolen from the stage of the Royal Opera House.

In 2014, a permanent public commission of Wind Sculpture was unveiled at Howick Place, London, England. Wind Sculpture was also shown as part of his solo exhibition at Royal Museums Greenwich in September 2013 and at Frieze Sculpture Park in October 2013. Measuring 6 metres by 3 metres, the work explores the notion of harnessing movement through the idea of capturing and freezing a volume of wind in a moment in time.

Recent solo exhibitions include Paradise Beyond (2016-17), Gemeentemuseum, Helmond, the Netherlands; Childhood Memories (2016), Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; Wilderness in the Garden (2015), Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea; Colonial Arrangements (2015), Morris-Jamel Mansion, New York, New York, USA; Egg Fight (2014), Foundation Blachère, Apt, France; Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders (2014), The Bares Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; and Cannonball Paradise (2014), Gerisch Stiftung Sculpture Park, Neumünster, Germany. Recent notable group shows include In Search of Meaning: The Human Figure in Global Perspective (2015) Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, the Netherlands; Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s (2015), Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists (2015), Frankfurt MMK, Frankfurt, Germany, which was later exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., USA.

Shonibare's works are included in prominent collections internationally, 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; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Rome; and VandenBroek Foundation, the Netherlands.

Text courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) Featured Artworks

The African Library Collection: Writers by Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) contemporary artwork
Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)The African Library Collection: Writers, 2020Hardback books, Dutch wax printed cotton textile with gold foiled names, bookshelf and a bespoke card catalogue box
233.7 x 139.7 x 33.7 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Material (SG) VI by Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) contemporary artwork
Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)Material (SG) VI, 2020Steel armature with hand painted glass reinforced polyester cast
400 x 200.35 x 200 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Planets in my Head, Young Geologist by Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) contemporary artwork
Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)Planets in my Head, Young Geologist, 2019Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, globe, brass, steel baseplate, tripod, theodolite
120 x 107 x 73 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Clementia by Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) contemporary artwork
Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)Clementia, 2018Fibreglass sculpture, hand-painted with Batik pattern, and steelbase plate or plinth
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine at Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
3 October–2 November 2019 Group Exhibition I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine Goodman Gallery, LondonLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Quotidian at Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Closed
18 January–12 March 2017 Group Exhibition Quotidian Pearl Lam Galleries, ShanghaiShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA), Dreaming Rich at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong
Closed
19 November 2013–9 January 2014 Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) Dreaming Rich Pearl Lam Galleries, Pedder St, Hong KongPedder Street, Hong Kong

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) Represented By

Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Cape Town, London
Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Pedder Street, Hong Kong Pearl Lam Galleries Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) In Ocula Magazine

View All (7)
Art Basel Viewing Rooms: Editorial Selections Ocula Insight Art Basel Viewing Rooms: Editorial Selections By Ocula Magazine, Basel

NS Harsha, Ascent or Descent to Reality (2018) at Chemould Prescott Road NS Harsha 's discordant compositions interrogate systems of knowledge, power, and belief. Reworking the tradition of Indian miniature painting, surfaces are filled with figures performing repeated actions, their seriality recalling the artist's childhood interest in...

Fade out copy.
Read More
David Shrigley, Wolfgang Tillmans and More Offer Affordable Art to Combat COVID-19 Ocula News David Shrigley, Wolfgang Tillmans and More Offer Affordable Art to Combat COVID-19 Hong Kong, 29 May 2020

Sales of works on paper and illustrated face masks will support charities and struggling art institutions.

Fade out copy.
Read More
EXPO Chicago Sets the Scene for 2020 Ocula Report EXPO Chicago Sets the Scene for 2020 By Stephanie Bailey, Chicago

'Where Will You Be in 1933?' was the official song of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair—a buoyant ditty written in 1932 to promote an exposition celebrating Chicago's centennial during the Great Depression. On 18 September 2019, it was performed at the Chicago Symphony Center as part of Samson Young: World Fair Music. The performance extended...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Yinka Shonibare (MBE, RA) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore Ocula Insight Yinka Shonibare (MBE, RA) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore By Anna Dickie

My parents wanted me to be a lawyer, so in a way choosing to do art was my way of rebelling against them and developing my own identity.

Fade out copy.
Read More

Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) In Related Press

View All (11)
Yinka Shonibare at Driehaus Museum Related Press Yinka Shonibare at Driehaus Museum 1 June 2019, Art in America

A Tale of Today: Yinka Shonibare CBE inaugurates the Driehaus Museum's exhibition series spotlighting the work of contemporary artists of color, an exciting new direction for this Gilded Age mansion–turned–museum, whose programming has focused largely on art and design from the home's original era.

Fade out copy.
Read More
Yinka Shonibare Restages the Trauma of the Gilded Age Related Press Yinka Shonibare Restages the Trauma of the Gilded Age 26 April 2019, Hyperallergic

CHICAGO — In one story arc of The West Wing, the political drama created by Aaron Sorkin that ran on NBC television in the early 2000s, Josh Lyman, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, is shot and critically wounded by white supremacists. Lyman recovers in the hospital and eventually returns to work where he begins to behave in...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Viva Arte: 10 to See Related Press Viva Arte: 10 to See 22 April 2017, Aesthetica

The 57th Venice Biennale, International Art Exhibition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA and curated by Christine Macel, is fast-approaching. The 2017 edition will be open to the public from 13 May to 26 November at the Giardini and Arsenale venues, following a sequence of preview days. Unfolding over the course of nine chapters or families of artists...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Preview: 8 highlights from Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and West Bund Art and Design Related Press Preview: 8 highlights from Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and West Bund Art and Design 8 November 2016, Art Radar Journal

November is a big month for Shanghai. From 10 to 13 November 2016, ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair will open its doors at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Now in its fourth year, the fair is an officially sanctioned project of the 18th China Shanghai International Arts Festival and includes the participation of 84 galleries from 18 countries...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;