Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (b. 1962) in London, UK, studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1989) and received his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (1991). His interdisciplinary practice uses citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalisation. Through examining race, class and the construction of cultural identity, his works comment on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories.
Yinka Shonibare MBE, The British Library (2017), Diaspora Pavilion, Venice (2017)
In 2004, he was nominated for the Turner Prize and in 2008, his mid-career survey began at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, travelling in 2009 to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. In 2010, his first public art commission ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ was displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London and is in the permanent collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. In 2013, he was elected a Royal Academician and was awarded the honour of ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 2019. His installation ‘The British Library’ was acquired by Tate in 2019 and is currently on display at Tate Modern, London.
In 2021, Shonibare was awarded the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award. A major retrospective of his work opened at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg in May 2021 followed by his co-ordination of The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London which opened in September 2021. The survey solo exhibition, Yinka Shonibare CBE: Planets in My Head, opened in April 2022 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan followed by the unveiling in June of a major new sculptural work, Wind Sculpture in Bronze I at Royal Djurgården, Stockholm.
Shonibare’s works are in notable museum 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; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and VandenBroek Foundation, The Netherlands.