Yinka Shonibare was born in London, UK in 1962 and grew up in the UK and Lagos, Nigeria. He studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art, London in the 1980s and graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1991.
Over the past decade, he has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, film and installation, 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.
In 2004, he was awarded the decoration of Member of the ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ (MBE) and was also nominated for the Turner Prize.
He has participated in many international exhibitions including Documenta 11, Kassel in 2002 and the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and then toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. His public art commission, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle opened on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2010. In 2013 he was nominated as a Royal Academician.
His sculpture ‘Wind Sculpture VI’ is currently on view at the Royal Academy Courtyard and he recently curated a room as part of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2017.
Recent exhibitions include ‘Prejudice at Home; A Parlour, A Library and a Room’ at James Cohan Gallery, New York; ‘Diaspora Pavilion’, Palazzo Pisani at the 57th Venice Biennale; ‘Enlightened Princesses; Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World’ at Yale Center of British Art and Kensington Palace, London. Selected solo exhibitions include Gemeentmuseum Helmond, The Netherlands and Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2016); Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea and DHC/ART Fondation for l’Art Contemporain, Montréal, Montreal (2015); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK (2013); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, USA (2013); San Diego Art Museum, San Diego, USA (2012); MCA Sydney, Sydney and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2008) among others.