Yinka ShonibareMBE 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. 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 eventuallysold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960’s the material became a new sign of African identity and independence. Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004, and was also awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order ofthe British EmpireorMBE, 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 on to an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and internationally at leading museums worldwide. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and then touredto the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museumof African Artat the SmithsonianInstitution, Washington DC.Shonibarehas 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. 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 ballerinaencased 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. 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 nowsuccessfully acquired the sculpture permanently for display outside the museum’s new entrance in Greenwich Park, London. In 2013, a permanent public commission of Wind Sculpturewas unveiled at Howick Place, London, England. A Wind Sculpturewas also shown as part of a solo exhibition at Royal Museums Greenwich in September 2013 and at Frieze Sculpture Park in October 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include Wilderness in the Garden (2015), Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea; Colonial Arrangements(2015), Morris-Jamel Mansion, New York, NY, USA; Egg Fight(2014), Foundation Blachère, Apt, France; Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders(2014), The Bares Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, 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; and later exhibited at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., USA.Shonibare’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the TateCollection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art,Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery ofCanada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Rome.

Yinka Shonibare MBE
Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)
London, 1962

Past Exhibitions

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Wind Sculpture (SG) I

Doris C. Freedman Plaza 07/03/2018 — 14/10/2018

Diaspora Pavilion

Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina 13/05/2017 — 26/11/2017

Materialised Condition

Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore
15/03/2017 — 14/05/2017


Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
18/01/2017 — 12/03/2017

Be Inspired in Central

Landmark Atrium 22/03/2016 — 31/03/2016

Solo Shows

– Childhood Memories, Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore 2015

– Wilderness into a Garden, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea

– William Morris Family Album, The William Morris Gallery, London, UK

– Rage of the Ballet Gods, James Cohen Gallery, New York, NY, USA

– Colonial Arrangements, Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York, NY, USA
– Pièces de Résistance, DRC-Art, Montreal, Québec, Canada

– Egg Fight, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France

– Cannonball Paradise, Herbert Gerisch Foundation, Neumünster, Germany

– The British Library, HOUSE 2014 and Brighton Festival co-commission, The Old Reference Library, Brighton Museum, Brighton, UK

– Magic Ladders, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, USA

– Yinka Shonibare: Selected Works, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, Poland

– FOCUS: Yinka Shonibare MBE, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, USA

– FABRIC-ATION, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

– POP!, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK Dreaming Rich, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong

– Imagined as the Truth, San Diego Art Museum, San Diego, CA, USA

– Invasion, Escape: Aliens do it right!, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney, Australia

– Addio del Passato, James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY, USA 2011

– El Futuro del Pasado, Alcalá 31 Centros de Arte, Madrid, Spain, curated by Octavio Zaya; toured to Centro de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain

– Human Culture: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

– Yinka Shonibare, MBE: Sculpture, Photography and Film, Western Michigan University, MI, USA

– Looking Up, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco

– Yinka Shonibare MBE, Friedrichswerder Church, Berlin, Germany

  • Before and After Modernism: Byam Shaw, Rex Vicat Cole, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK

Group Shows

– Self: Image and identity, Turner Contemporary, Kent, UK

– In Search of Meaning: The Human Figure in Global Perspective, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, the Netherlands

– Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, Charlotte, NC, USA

– Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s–1990s, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK – Africa Africans: Contemporary African Art, Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil – Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain


– The Global Africa Project: Political Patterns, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
– Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK – Temporary Contemporary, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL, USA 2014

– Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada

– The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, Frankfurt MMK, Frankfurt, Germany; Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., USA; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Correo Venezia, Venice, Italy; Hayward Gallery, London, UK 2013

– Biennale Cuvée, Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz, Austria

– Out of Fashion, Gl Holtegaard, Holte, Denmark; travelling to Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark

– Pivot Points: 15 Years & Counting: 15th Anniversary Collection, MOCA, North Miami, FL, USA

– Brilliant Disguise: Masks and Other Transformations, Contemporary Art Centre, New Orleans, LA, USA – Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., USA

– Encounters: Photography from the Sheldon Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE, USA

– Le Pont, Musée d’Art Contemporain, project for Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture, Marseille, France

– The Progress of Love, Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria; touring to The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA; The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, MO, USA

– The Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany 2012

– Happening to Be, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, London, UK – Encounters: Conflict, Dialogue, and Discovery, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, USA

– Migrations: Journeys into British Art, Tate Britain, London, UK – Déjà vu? Die Kumst der Wiederholung von Dürer bis YouTube (Déjà vu? The Art of Reproduction from Dürer YouTube), Staatliche Kunsthalle Karsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

– artbindLuxe: Mode D’Emploi, Passage de Retz, Paris, France

– Rokoko Mania: Contemporary Art and Design in Dialogue with Crafts from the 1700’s, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

– The Crisis Commission, Somerset House, London, UK

– Six Yards, Guaranteed Dutch Design, Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem, Netherlands

Contacts & Details

City of birth: London Country of birth: UK Date of birth: 1962
Studio: Sunbury House 1, Andrews Road
E8 4QL , London , UK
W: http://www.yinkashonibarembe.com/ M: info@yinkashonibarembe.com