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Yinka Shonibare Nigeria/UK 1962-

October 20, 2019



In the past two months, we have been looking at universal patterns

in ancient cultures that are still utilized today in art and design. There is not a better example of putting a modern face to an Ancient culture than Yinka Shonibare, the British artist of Nigerian heritage. He was born in London and raised in Nigeria, and returned to England to study art but contracted  transverse myelitis soon after, resulting in paralysis. After spending a year in the hospital, he entered art school. Known for his examination of cultural authenticity, identity, and power relations, he has gone on to become one of the world's most influential artists. With a foot in two worlds, he explores his cultural identity with poignant interpretations, mixing heavy commentary on globalization, and colonialism. Africa is a vast continent with many different cultures with the connecting thread being the unique hand-printed batik fabrics that have become known as "Africa cloth". They were originally imported by the Dutch and have become a major symbol of African identity. His sculptures and tableaus juxtapose fabrics and integrate them into his satires on classical European art history as well as his large scale billowing sculptures.

He has been widely exhibited and his work is in many museum collections including MOMA, and the Tate Modern. Among his awards are Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) (2019), Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) (2005), a fellowship at Goldsmith’s College (2003), and the Art for Architecture Award, Royal Society of Arts (1998). Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize (2004). His work has appeared at the Venice Biennale (2001). If you are interested in seeing more of his work, click on the link below.





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 Week One: Cave Paintings

It has been an eventful week in our Art Literacy class. We have been all around the world.  I would like to thank all of my wonderful students for their great efforts. We began with the story of the discovery of the discovery of cave paintings in Lascaux,  France  and also looked at images from  Spain , where the oldest known cave paintings have been found,  in the cave called El Castillo. The prehistoric dots and crimson hand stencils are now the world's oldest known cave art that dates more than 40,800 years old.


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