Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

British-Nigerian
b. 1962
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Overview

Describing himself as a ‘post-colonial hybrid’, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA creates work that explores issues of race and class through the media of sculpture, painting, photography, film, tapestries and public works.

Describing himself as a ‘post-colonial hybrid’, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA creates work that explores issues of race and class through the media of sculpture, painting, photography, film, tapestries and public works.

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA was born in 1962 in London, England and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He lives and works in London. Shonibare was a Turner Prize nominee in 2004 and was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London in 2013. He was awarded the decoration of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or MBE in 2004 and Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or CBE in 2019. Shonibare received the prestigious Art Icon Award from Whitechapel Gallery, London and an honorary degree from The Courtauld Institute, London in 2021. 

Shonibare’s practice questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His signature material is the brightly coloured ‘African’ batik fabric he buys at Brixton market in London. Batik was originally inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a signifier of African identity and independence. 

A major solo show by Shonibare opened at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in April 2022, spanning three decades of his practice. He was recently commissioned to transform the Gallery at sketch, London as part of a long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants, which opened to the public in March 2022. Shonibare’s largest European survey exhibition ‘End of Empire’, opened at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria in May 2021.

Selected Artworks

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

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