The Crowning

2007

Shonibare, MBE, Yinka
Working across painting, photography, film and sculpture, British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare – who describes himself as a ‘postcolonial hybrid’ – explores themes of cultural identity, class and race. In his work, he often makes use of vibrantly coloured wax-print fabric bought in Brixton market, London. This is the case for his mixed-media sculpture The Crowning (2007), which features two life-sized headless mannequins reclining in a colourful tableau. The postures of these figures, and their costumes – emblazoned with the logo of well-known luxury brand Chanel – are modelled on those of a romantic couple in a painting by 18th-century painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Progress of Love: The Lover Crowned (1771–72). Shonibare’s The Crowning offers an oblique but critical commentary on postcolonial identity as well as the wealth and excesses of contemporary and historic aristocratic society.
  • Artwork Details: 160 x 280 x 210cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: Wax printed cotton textile, shoes, coir matting, artificial silk flowers
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Sculpture
  • Accession number: ACC10/2016

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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