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. 

For a complete list of available works by Yinka Shonibare CBE please contact [email protected]

News, Events and Museum Exhibitions

Yinka Shonibare CBE at La Biennale di Venezia

Yinka Shonibare is one of eight artists selected to represent the Nigerian Pavilion, in a showcase exploring different perspectives and constructed ideas, memories o…
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
20 April - 24 November 2024

Selected Press

Making a Mark with Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare CBE: A globally celebrated artist whose work examines race, class, and constructions of cultural identity

Guest Artists Space (G. A. S.) Foundation

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.

Click here to find out more

Sign up for updates

Sign up to receive information about Yinka Shonibare CBE exhibitions, news and events.

Send an artwork enquiry

Enter your details and we will be in touch with further information about this artwork and available works by this artist.

Alternatively call us to discuss your enquiry.

Your details