Various places in, London, New Haven, Helmond and Lagos 01 Sep 2016 - 31 Jan 2017
Yinka Shonibare in his studio. Photo: Wig Worland
This autumn, the London- and Lagos-based artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) has shows at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, the Gemeentemuseum Helmond and the British Council in Lagos—Shonibare’s first solo exhibition in Nigeria.
This display, which coincides with the Center’s exhibition Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting, will focus on Shonibare’s interest in the British historical figure Admiral Lord Nelson, whom he uses as an emblem of Britain’s imperial history. An important feature of Shonibare’s work is the consistent use of colorful, wax-printed cotton fabrics, which are associated with Africa but originated in Indonesia and Holland, a product of global trade and imperial markets. The fabric sums up the themes at the heart of Shonibare’s work.
Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) has been curated by Martina Droth, Deputy Director of Research and Curator of Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art.
The artist returns to Yale next February, for an exhibition about three Georgian princesses: Charlotte, Caroline and Augusta. The show, called Enlightened Princesses, is due to travel to Kensington Palace in June 2017.
‘Paradise Beyond’ 20 September-12 February 2017 at Gemeentemuseum, Helmond, Netherlands
The exhibition ‘Yinka Shonibare MBE / Paradise Beyond’ features sculptures, installations, collages, drawings, photo works and films from the period 2004-2016. In his work highlights themes like race, class, power and migration. With his elegant, seductive and humorous work he makes sensitive socio-cultural topics accessible. The exhibition can be read as a cycle with periods of conflict, revolution and war, the quest for paradise, personal enrichment, the expulsion, the flight from and then again the quest for paradise. Thus the cycle repeats itself.
Paradise Beyond coincides with ‘Vlisco 1:1 Un a Un’ , a show of Vlisco textiles; the nearby factory produces the Dutch wax batik fabric that Shonibare often uses in his work.
Opening for Frieze week in October 2016, Yinka Shonibare MBE presents his sixth solo exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery titled ‘…and the wall fell away’.
The show marks a pivotal moment in the artist’s practice with the complete absence of the Dutch wax Batik textiles for which he is known. Shonibare removes the fabric altogether and employs the batik designs in new forms; mural painting, bronze sculpture, screen prints on canvas and the appropriation of classical sculpture.
Shonibare uses the patterns of the batik fabrics as a device to interrupt the canon of classical and renaissance art and Western religious iconography. The intention to challenge and dismantle the boundaries of Western understanding is indicated in the title of the show. By leaving the ‘trace’ of his trademark batik motifs, Shonibare gives a personal insight into the complexities of identity, nationality and colonial history.
This will be the first major Yinka Shonibare exhibition in Nigeria and will see an installation of his iconic Wind Sculpture at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park in Lagos.
The sculpture, made of batik design, echoes Shonibare’s imaginative treatment of the sails on Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, his Fourth Plinth commission for Trafalgar Square which has now been installed outside the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Following the installation, there will be a lecture for Visual Arts students and film screenings which will take place at Ndubuisi Kanu Park.