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Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). Leisure Lady (with Ocelots), 2001. Life-size fiberglass mannequin, three fiberglass ocelots, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, glass. Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium. Image courtesy of the artist; James Cohan Gallery, New York; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © the artist


                          
                          Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). Leisure Lady (with Ocelots), 2001. Life-size fiberglass mannequin, three fiberglass ocelots, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, glass. Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium. Image courtesy of the artist; James Cohan Gallery, New York; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © the artist

Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). Leisure Lady (with Ocelots), 2001. Life-size fiberglass mannequin, three fiberglass ocelots, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, glass. Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium. Image courtesy of the artist; James Cohan Gallery, New York; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © the artist

<p>Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). <em>The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (America)</em>, 2008. Chromogenic photograph, 72 × 48<sup>3</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> in. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist</p>

Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (America), 2008. Chromogenic photograph, 72 × 4834 in. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist

<p>Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). <em>How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Ladies)</em>, 2006. Two life-size fiberglass mannequins, two guns, Dutch wax printed cotton, shoes, leather riding boots, plinth 63 × 96<sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> x 48 in.; each figure 63 × 61 × 48 in. Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, Museum purchase, Wellesley College Friends of Art. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist. Photo: Stephen White</p>

Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Ladies), 2006. Two life-size fiberglass mannequins, two guns, Dutch wax printed cotton, shoes, leather riding boots, plinth 63 × 9612 x 48 in.; each figure 63 × 61 × 48 in. Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, Museum purchase, Wellesley College Friends of Art. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist. Photo: Stephen White

<p>Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). <em>Scramble for Africa</em>, 2003. Fourteen life-size fiberglass mannequins, fourteen chairs, table, Dutch wax printed cotton, 52 × 192 × 110 in. The Pinnell Collection, Dallas. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist. Photo: Stephen White</p>

Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). Scramble for Africa, 2003. Fourteen life-size fiberglass mannequins, fourteen chairs, table, Dutch wax printed cotton, 52 × 192 × 110 in. The Pinnell Collection, Dallas. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist. Photo: Stephen White

<p>Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). <em>Diary of a Victorian Dandy: 03.00 hours</em>, 1998. Chromogenic photograph, 72 × 90 in. Collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist</p>

Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. United Kingdom, 1962). Diary of a Victorian Dandy: 03.00 hours, 1998. Chromogenic photograph, 72 × 90 in. Collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica. Image courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York. © the artist

Yinka Shonibare MBE

June 26–September 20, 2009

This exhibition is a major midcareer survey of work by the UK-based Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. Shonibare’s artwork explores contemporary African identity and its relationship to European colonialism through painting, sculpture, installation, and moving image. Shonibare is best known for his work with visual symbols, especially the richly patterned Dutch wax fabric produced in Europe for a West African market that he uses in a wide range of applications. His tableaux of headless mannequins costumed in this fabric evoke themes of history and its legacy for future generations. Through these works he explores the complex web of interactions, both economic and racial, that reveal inequalities between the dominant and colonized cultures of Europe, Asia, and Africa. A site-specific installation created for this presentation titled Mother and Father Worked Hard So I Can Play will be on view in several of the Museum’s period rooms.

Another site-specific installation, Party Time—Re-Imagine America: A Centennial Commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE, will be on view at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, from July 1, 2009, to January 3, 2010, in the dining room of the museum’s 1885 Ballantine House.

Yinka Shonibare MBE is organized and toured by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia. The exhibition is curated by Rachel Kent.

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Additional support provided by Emily Fisher Landau.

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