Video by Proudfoot Ltd, London

 

Over the past decade, London-based Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and postcolonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, film and performance, Shonibare’s work examines race, class and the construction of cultural identity through sharp political commentary of the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Having described himself as a postcolonial hybrid, Shonibare uses wry citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities.

 

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Museum Exhibition
Bill Viola, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Jesper Just and Yinka Shonibare MBE in the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias
Inaugural Biennial Exhibition
February 7 - April 7, 2014
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
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Museum Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare MBE at The Barnes Foundation
Solo Exhibition
January 24–April 21, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
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Museum Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare MBE at Gdansk City Gallery 2
Solo exhibition
November 29, 2013-December 31, 2013
Gdansk, Poland travelling to Wroclaw, Poland
ArtworksThumbnails
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Magic Ladder Kid I 2013 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, fiberglass, wooden ladder, steel baseplate, globe Overall: 118 x 48 x 31 1/2 in. (300 x 122 x 80 cm) Commissioned by The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Magic Ladder Kid I 2013 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, fiberglass, wooden ladder, steel baseplate, globe Overall: 118 x 48 x 31 1/2 in. (300 x 122 x 80 cm) Commissioned by The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Magic Ladder Kid III 2013 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, fiberglass, wooden ladder, steel baseplate, globe Overall: 118 x 48 x 31 1/2 in. (300 x 122 x 80 cm) Commissioned by The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Wind Sculpture 1, 2013 Steel armature with hand painted fiberglass resin cast 240 x 133 5/16 x 31 3/16 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Wind Sculpture 2, 2013 Steel armature with hand painted fiberglass resin cast 240 x 133 5/16 x 31 3/16 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE, Copenhagen Girl with Hole in Her Head, 2013, Fiberglass, Dutch wax-printed cotton, globe, steel, Overall: 112 1/16 x 48 5/16 x 43 1/4 in.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE, Ballerina With Violin (Giselle), 2013, Mannequin, Dutch wax African cotton textile, fibreglass, globe head, violin, pointe shoes, 55 x 37 x 29 3/16 in.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE, Flower Power Kid (Suicide), 2013, Mannequin, Dutch wax African cotton textile, steel baseplate, leather, fibreglass, globe head, decommissioned revolver, fabric flowers, wire,  44 x 43 1/16 x 13 1/4 in.

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Homeless Child 3, 2013 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, fibreglass, globe head, steel base plate, leather suitcases 106 1/16 x 25 3/16 x 39 1/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Boy on Tightrope, 2012 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, fiberglass, leather, rope 98 1/8 x 50 1/8 x 74 5/16 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE New York Toy Painting, 2012 Emulsion, acrylic on Dutch wax fabric, 27 panels 98 3/8 x 244 1/8 x 6 1/4 in.
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE New York Toy Painting (detail), 2012 Emulsion, acrylic on Dutch wax fabric, 27 panels 98 3/8 x 244 1/8 x 6 1/4 in.
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Revolution Kid (fox girl), 2012 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, fibreglass, leather, taxidermy fox head, steel base plate, BlackBerry and 24 carat gold gilded gun 44 x 36 x 30 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Homeless Child 1, 2012 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, fibreglass, globe head, steel base plate, leather suitcases 106 1/16 x 25 3/16 x 39 1/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Homeless Child 1, 2012 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, fibreglass, globe head, steel base plate, leather suitcases 106 1/16 x 25 3/16 x 39 1/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis), 2011 Digital chromogenic print Framed: 58 5/8 x 71 1/4 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fake Death Picture (The Death of St Francis - Bartolomé Carducho), 2011 Digital chromogenic print Framed: 58 5/8 x 78 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fake Death Picture (The Suicide - Leonardo Alenza), 2011 Digital chromogenic print Framed: 76 3/8 x 58 5/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fake Death Picture (The Suicide - Manet), 2011 Digital chromogenic print Framed: 58 1/2 x 71 1/4 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fake Death Picture (The Death of Leonardo da Vinci in the Arms of Francis I - Francois-Guillaume Ménageot), 2011 Digital chromogenic print Framed: 58 3/4 x 72 5/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Addio del Passato, 2011 Digital video Duration: 16 minutes 52 seconds

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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fanny's Dress, 2011 Dutch wax printed cotton textile 61 x 26 x 19 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Anti-Hysteria Device, 2011 Dutch wax printed cotton textile, wood, metal with motor 30 3/8 x 41 x 18 7/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fetish Boots, 2011 Dutch wax printed cotton textile and leather 27 x 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Anti-Masturbation Device, 2011 Sterling silver, leather, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, Victorian lock and velvet cushion 14 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Nelson's Jacket, 2011 Dutch wax printed cotton textile 62 x 26 x 17 3/4 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Planets in My Head, Physics, 2010 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather and fiberglass 50 X 26 3/8 X 19 5/8 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Air, 2010 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, wood, metal weather vein and metal baseplate. 180 x 70 x 130cm; Baseplate: 25 x 110 x 70cm 70 7/8 x 27 ½ x 51 1/8 in; Baseplate 9 ¾ x 43 ¼ x 27 ½ in
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Earth, 2010 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, wood, metal base and globe 183 x 140 x 165cm; Baseplate: 25 x 110 x 70cm 72 x 55 ¼ x 65in; Baseplate: 9 7/8 x 43 ¼ x 27 ½ in
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Water, 2010 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, Leather and wood 143 x 75 x 88cm 56 ¼ x 29 ½ x 35 5/8 in.
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Fire, 2010 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, wood, brass, lamp stand, glass lamp shade, circuit board, and LED 184 x 110 x 70cm; Baseplate: 25 x 110 x 70cm 72 ½ x 43 ¼ x 27 ½ in; Baseplate 9 ¾ x 43 ¼ x 27 ½ in.
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, 2010 Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London Photo: Stephen White
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, 2010 Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London Photo: Stephen White
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, 2010 Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London Photo: Stephen White
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Climate Shit Drawing 1, 2008 Four color lithographic print together with silk screen glaze, collaged with fabrics and foils and die cut Somerset radium white satin, 330gsm 13.5 X 20 inches Edition of 200
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Man on Flying Machine, 2008 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, steel, rubber and aluminum Mannequin: Approximately 61 x 23.6 x 27.6 inches Flying Machine: 78.7 x 23.6 x 35.4 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Boy on Flying Machine, 2008 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, steel, rubber and aluminum Mannequin: Approximately 40.2 x 21.7 x 25.6 inches Flying Machine: 65 x 22 x 31.5 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Girl on Flying Machine, 2008 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, steel, rubber and aluminum Mannequin: Approximately 39.4 x 23.6 x 21.7 inches Flying Machine: 65 x 22 x 31.5 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Woman on Flying Machine, 2008 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, steel, rubber and aluminum Mannequin: Approximately 53.1 x 39.4 x 31.5 inches Flying Machine: 78.7 x 23.6 x 35.4 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE La Méduse, 2008 Wood, foam, plexiglas, Dutch wax-printed fabric, and acrylic paint 83 1/2 X 66 X 54 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE La Méduse, 2008 Wood, foam, plexiglas, Dutch wax-printed fabric, and acrylic paint 83 1/2 X 66 X 54 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE La Méduse, 2008 Wood, foam, plexiglas, Dutch wax-printed fabric, and acrylic paint 83 1/2 X 66 X 54 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE La Méduse, 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum 72 X 94 inches Edition of 10
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Adam Smith, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 70 X 43 1/2 X 33 1/2 inches Plinth: 4' 11" X 5' 7" X 5"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Adam Smith, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 70 X 43 1/2 X 33 1/2 inches Plinth: 4' 11" X 5' 7" X 5"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Immanuel Kant, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 29 1/2 X 41 X 31 1/2 inches Plinth: 7' 4 1/2" X 6' 10 1/2" X 6"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Immanuel Kant, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 29 1/2 X 41 X 31 1/2 inches Plinth: 7' 4 1/2" X 6' 10 1/2" X 6"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Jean le Rond d'Alembert, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 65 1/2 X 25 1/2 X 30 inches Plinth: 4' 11" X 4' 11" X 3"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Jean le Rond d'Alembert, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 65 1/2 X 25 1/2 X 30 inches Plinth: 4' 11" X 4' 11" X 3"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Gabrielle Emile Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise de Chatelet, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 46 1/2 X 25 1/2 X 33 1/2 inches Plinth: 6' 7" X 6' 7" X 4"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Gabrielle Emile Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise de Chatelet, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Figure: 46 1/2 X 25 1/2 X 33 1/2 inches Plinth: 6' 7" X 6' 7" X 4"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Antoine Lavoisier, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Wheelchair with figure: 47 X 28 1/2 X 47 inches Plinth: 10' X 9' 4" X 3 1/2"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Antoine Lavoisier, 2008 Life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media Wheelchair with figure: 47 X 28 1/2 X 47 inches Plinth: 10' X 9' 4" X 3 1/2"
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (America), 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum Image size: 72 X 49.5 inches Framed: 81.5 x 58 x 2.5 inches Edition of 5
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Africa), 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum Image size: 72 X 49.5 inches Framed: 81.5 x 58 x 2.5 inches Edition of 5
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Asia), 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum Image size: 72 X 49.5 inches Framed: 81.5 x 58 x 2.5 inches Edition of 5
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Australia), 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum Image size: 72 X 49.5 inches Framed: 81.5 x 58 x 2.5 inches Edition of 5
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Europe), 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum Image size: 72 X 49.5 inches Framed: 81.5 x 58 x 2.5 inches Edition of 5
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE How to Blow up Two Heads at Once (Ladies), 2006 Two mannequins, two guns, Dutch, wax printed cotton textile, shoes, leather riding boots, plinth 93 1/2 X 63 X 48 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE How to Blow up Two Heads at Once (Ladies), 2006 Two mannequins, two guns, Dutch, wax printed cotton textile, shoes, leather riding boots, plinth 93 1/2 X 63 X 48 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Black Gold II, 2006 Acrylic paint on 25 Dutch wax printed cotton canvases 130 X 265
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Black Gold Toy Painting 6, 2006 Acrylic paint on Dutch wax printed cotton canvas 38 1/2 X 41 inches
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Boy With Fishing Rod on Stilts, 2006 Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile 89 3/8 X 59
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YINKA SHONIBARE, MBE Wanderer, 2006 Wood, Plexiglas, fabric, brass 67 3/4 X 48 X 17 1/4 inches Edition of 8
Artist BioDownload Bio English PDF
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Photo © Royal Academy of Arts, London; photographer Marcus Leith

Over the past decade, Yinka Shonibare MBE has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and postcolonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, film and performance, Shonibare’s work examines race, class and the construction of cultural identity through sharp political commentary of the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Having described himself as a postcolonial hybrid, Shonibare uses wry citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities.

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Yinka Shonibare MBE (born 1962 in London, UK) moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art first at the Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA, graduating as part of the ‘Young British Artists’ generation. He gained notoriety on the international stage via his commission for Okwui Enwezor’s Documenta 10, Gallantry and Criminal Conversation (2002), and was a Turner Prize nominee in 2004. In 2005 he was awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a title that he officially added on his professional name. His works were featured in the 52nd Biennale di Venezia (2007) and a major mid-career survey toured from 2008–09 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. In 2011, the artist’s sculpture Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was selected for the prestigious Fourth Plinth commission series in London’s Trafalgar Square. In 2013, a major survey show was mounted at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK, and travelled in part to Royal Museums Greenwich/The Queen’s House, London, UK; GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark; Gdańska Galeria Miejska, Gdansk, Poland; and Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, Poland.  Upcoming in 2014, Yinka’s work to date will be the subject of the first contemporary art exhibition at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA. 

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Shonibare’s work is included in several prestigious permanent collections, including Arts Council Collection, London, UK; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, USA; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden; Modern Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Rome, Italy; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Speed Art Museum, Louisville; Tate Collection, London, United Kingdom; The Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, Poland; and Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis. Yinka Shonibare MBE currently lives and works in the East End of London.

Exhibitions
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Gallery Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare MBE
Addio del Passato
February 16 - March 24, 2012
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare MBE
September 11 - November 08, 2008
Shanghai
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Gallery Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare MBE
Prospero's Monsters
April 17 - May 17, 2008
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Yinka Shonibare
Mobility
October 01 - 29, 2005
New York
Press / Media
Articles / Reviews
West End Extra
“Ship ‘legacy’ sculpture by artist Yinka Shonibare is unveiled on Victoria Street,” by William McLennan
Articles / Reviews
Sculpture Magazine
“Yinka Shonibare: The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia”
Articles / Reviews
Artinfo
"Review: Yinka Shonibare at the Barnes Foundation," by Thea Ballard
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
“Yinka Shonibare MBE: ‘Magic Ladders’ at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia,” by Paul Laster
Articles / Reviews
W Magazine
“Unsentimental Education: Yinka Shonibare climbs the ladder at the Barnes Foundation," by Michael Slenske
Articles / Reviews
The Wall Street Journal
“Artist Yinka Shonibare Makes a Move to the Barnes Foundation," by Carol Kino
Articles / Reviews
Interior Design
"Brotherly Love"
Articles / Reviews
Ars Magazine
“The Desirable Things Made by a Man," by Karen E. Milbourne
Articles / Reviews
The Guardian
"How Yinka Shonibare's sculpture park exhibition shoots to thrill," by Jonathan Jones
Articles / Reviews
Art Experience: NYC
"Yinka Shonibare MBE and the Art of Resistance," by Ernesto Menéndez-Conde
Articles / Reviews
Artinfo
"The Imperial Commoner: A Q&A With Yinka Shonibare, MBE" by Coline Milliard
Articles / Reviews
Telegraph
"Fourth Plinth: Yinka Shonibare Interview," by Martin Gayford
Articles / Reviews
The New York Times
"Headless Bodies From a Bottomless Imagination," by Deborah Sontag
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
"Yinka Shonibare at James Cohan," by Faye Hirsch
Articles / Reviews
Art & Auction
"In the Studio: Yinka Shonibare, MBE," by Constance Wyndham
Articles / Reviews
BOMB
"Practice and Theory: Yinka Shonibare," by Anthony Downey
News
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Museum Exhibition
Inaugural Biennial Exhibition
February 7 - April 7, 2014
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
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Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
January 24–April 21, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
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Museum Exhibition
Solo exhibition
November 29, 2013-December 31, 2013
Gdansk, Poland travelling to Wroclaw, Poland
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Museum Exhibition
Solo exhibition
September 21 - November 24, 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark
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Museum Exhibition
Solo exhibition
September 18, 2013--February 23, 2014
Greenwich, UK
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Museum Exhibition
Solo exhibition
March 2 -- August 9, 2013
Yorkshire, UK
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Museum Exhibition
Solo exhibition
May --November 2009
Newark, NJ
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Museum Exhibition
Solo Touring Exhibition
June 26 -- September 20, 2009
Brooklyn, NY; Originating at MCA Sydney, AU; touring to Smithsonian National Museum for African Art, Washington, DC
Books
image Yinka Shonibare MBE
Publication
Yinka Shonibare MBE
Revised and updated edition
image Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders
Publication
Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders
image Yinka Shonibare MBE: FABRIC-ATION
Publication
Yinka Shonibare MBE: FABRIC-ATION
image Yinka Shonibare MBE: El Futuro del Pasado
Publication
Yinka Shonibare MBE: El Futuro del Pasado