Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2021

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA was honoured on 22 March 2021

Whitechapel Gallery is pleased to announce that Yinka Shonibare CBE RA(b. 1962, UK) is the eighth artist to receive the prestigious annual Art Icon award, generously supported by the Swarovski Foundation. On Monday 22 March 2021, the award was presented during a virtual gala celebration hosted by Iwona Blazwick OBE (Director, Whitechapel Gallery), and feature an exclusive performance from Angélique Kidjo. To protect the safety and welfare of all attendees, the event will be hosted on a digital platform and will celebrate the Gallery’s continued commitment to youth programmes and educational activities through an evening of live presentations. 

An online silent auction of artworks donated by leading contemporary artists also took place, facilitated by Phillips Auction House. All funds raised will help support Whitechapel Gallery’s programme, in particular its work with thousands of children and young people each year.

Iwona Blazwick said: “Yinka Shonibare is a truly exceptional artist and is an exemplary Art Icon. His vividly clothed figurative sculptures, the Hogarthian scenarios he creates as installations and photographs, and his beautiful films celebrate African culture while exposing the legacies of race and empire. Globally celebrated Shonibare also supports younger generations of artists in Britain and Africa; both his artistic legacy and his charitable initiatives will resonate for years to come.”


©2021. All images are property of Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA).