In his work, Yinka Shonibare, MBE unites different worlds in a single space, whilst drawing on the multiculturalism that constitutes the world today. His reflections on identity and memory mix together his two home cultures in a highly original aesthetic. Bringing Dutch wax into a Victorian world and using it to dress the middle classes that he represents with headless mannequins is one of his artistic gestures, making his work instantly recognisable.
Monte Carlo is and has always been a particularly vibrant artistic hub for performing arts. In this exhibition, alongside works by Shonibare, there will be recently restored works, many presented for the first time. These will include the Visconti Maquettothèque [model set designs collection] of the Monte-Carlo Opera, the Bosio brothers' sculptures and etchings, Eugène Frey's fabulous luminous decors, the Marquis du Périer de Mouriez's strange collection of transparent paintings, plus the religious boxes from the de Galéa Collection and many other artificialia that evoke the cabinets of curiosities of the 17th and 18th centuries, the ancestors of European museums. A costume conservation workshop will run throughout the exhibition, and will provide an opportunity for the public to explore previously hidden elements of the collection as they are being restored.
Yinka Shonibare, MBE was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and awarded the decoration of Member of the "Most Excellent Order of the British Empire". 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 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 toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York in June 2009 and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC in October 2009. His Fourth Plinth Commission 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' for Trafalgar Square was unveiled by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson on the 24 May 2010. This year the artist will also participate in a major group exhibition of African contemporary art 'Who Knows Tomorrow' taking place across four Berlin Museums and he will curate an exhibition in Jerusalem, selecting 300 objects from the collections of the Israel Museum to mark their renewed campus.
Looking up...TM Yinka Shonibare, MBE will be accompanied by a 180-page French/English full-color catalogue edited by 5 Continents Editions.