The Crowning

Shonibare, CBE, 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
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  • Material description: Wax printed cotton textile, shoes, coir matting, artificial silk flowers
  • Credit line: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. Acquired in honour of Sir Peter Bazalgette, 2017. © Yinka Shonibare CBE. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020
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  • Accession number: ACC10/2016



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