Yinka Shonibare RA Elect
Born: 1962, London
Elected RA: 24 September 2013
Category of Membership: Sculptor
Yinka Shonibare studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. He was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”.
'Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle' installed at Trafalgar Square, Fourth Plinth Commission. Copyright the artist. Photography Stephen White.
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 Biennial 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.
In 2010, he won the Wollaston Award for his work Crash Willy in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and Nelson's Ship in a Bottle became his first public art commission on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Recent solo exhibitions
2013 Royal Museums Greenwich, London
2010 Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth Commission, Trafalgar Square, London
Nouveau Musee National de Monaco, Monaco
Lethaby Gallery/Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, London
2009 Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Ireland
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
National Museum of African Art/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
2007 National Gallery, London
Musee du Quai Branly, Paris
2005 National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, New York
2004 Tate Britain, London
2003 Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan
2002 Tate Britain, London
British School in Rome, Italy
2000 Science Museum, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
1997 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, United States
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, United States
Tate Collection, London
National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Italy
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, United States
National Museum of African Art/Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., United States
Arts Council Collection, London
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, United States
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
British Museum, London