Yinka Shonibare CBE
Yinka Shonibare CBE 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 Byam Shaw School of Art, graduating in 1989, and then at Goldsmiths College where he received his MFA in 1991.
His interdisciplinary practice, incoportrating painting, sculpture, prints, photography and film, uses citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalization. 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.
In 2004 Shonibare 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 now 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, London in 2019. Shonibare was awarded the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award in March 2021.
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. A survey solo exhibition of his work opened in 2022 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, followed by the unveiling in June 2022 of a major new sculptural work, Wind Sculpture in Bronze I, at Royal Djurgården, Stockholm. To mark Sharjah Biennial's 30th anniversary in 2023, Shonibare was commissioned to create a series of new works for the exhibition. He has also been selected to exhibit a new body of work as part of the official Nigerian Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale from April 2024.
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.
Cristea Roberts Gallery is the exclusive worldwide representative for Yinka Shonibare's original prints.
Yinka Shonibare CBE lives and works in London.
Yinka Shonibare CBE: African Bird Magic
Originating from Yinka Shonibare CBE’s interest in ecology and the land, African Bird Magic I-V is a new series of five prints with woodblock and fabric collage, depicting birds indigenous to Africa.
News, Events and Museum Exhibitions
Yinka Shonibare CBE unveils new permanent sculpture in Leeds
Interview: Yinka Shonibare CBE on his fascination with artists, including Hogarth and Goya and more
Exhibition: ‘Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes'
Exhibition: ‘Sonic Presence (or Absence): Sound in Contemporary Art’
Yinka Shonibare CBE features in Digging Deep in British Art
Yinka Shonibare CBE: Planets in My Head
Yinka Shonibare CBE in Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear
Yinka Shonibare CBE in The Future is Blinking: Early Studio Photography from West and Central Africa
Yinka Shonibare CBE in Pablo Picasso: The Legacy of Youth
The Yinka Shonibare Foundation announce GAS Foundation
Yinka Shonibare CBE: End of Empire
Yinka Shonibare CBE to receive the Whitechapel Art Icon award
Yinka Shonibare CBE on display at the British Museum
Tate acquires Yinka Shonibare installation
Exhibition: 'Yinka Shonibare: Flower Power'
Event: Shonibare's 'Creatures of the Mappa Mundi'
Feature: "Award-winning British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare has become known for his brightly-coloured works."
Two major exhibitions by Yinka Shonibare CBE celebrate African Aesthetics and Cultural Hybridity
Review: "Powerfully illustrating the radical influence of African artefacts on the work of western modernists.”
Podcast: Yinka Shonibare CBE features on The Art Newspaper Podcast
Interview: “I am kind of revisiting how the power of African aesthetics managed to inspire a whole movement in the west.”
Yinka Shonibare CBE selected to represent Nigeria in the 2024 Venice Biennale
Interview: How Yinka Shonibare became an art icon
Interview: Yinka Shonibare weaves the fabric of change
Making a Mark with Yinka Shonibare
Yinka Shonibare CBE: A globally celebrated artist whose work examines race, class, and constructions of cultural identity
Exhibitions at Cristea Roberts Gallery
In 2022 Shonibare launched Guest Artists Space (G. A. S.) Foundation, a non-profit founded and developed by the artist. The Foundation is dedicated to facilitating cultural exchange through residencies, public programmes and exhibition opportunities for creative practitioners from around the world. The multi-use live/work residency spaces are set across sites in Lagos and a rural working farm in Ijebu, Ogun State.
- Ali Banisadr
- Georg Baselitz
- Christiane Baumgartner
- Rana Begum
- Pablo Bronstein
- Gordon Cheung
- Rhys Coren
- Michael Craig-Martin
- Dexter Dalwood
- Ian Davenport
- Miriam de Búrca
- Jan Dibbets
- Jim Dine
- Joy Gerrard
- Antony Gormley
- Marie Harnett
- Yinka Ilori
- Idris Khan
- Langlands & Bell
- Richard Long
- Mick Moon
- David Nash
- Paul Noble
- Odili Donald Odita
- Julian Opie
- Mimmo Paladino
- Cornelia Parker
- Vicken Parsons
- Bridget Riley
- Francis Ruyter
- Emma Stibbon
- Joe Tilson
- Barbara Walker
- Paul Winstanley
- Clare Woods
- Richard Woods