Yinka Shonibare MBE

Wind Sculpture II Maquette

Carbon fiber and steel, acrylic ink, acrylic paint and acrylic varnish
Edition of 2
2015
20 3/4 x 11 x 4 1/2 in
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When you buy this artwork you are directly supporting cultural innovation. The funds from this sale support the artist and MCA Chicago.

Shonibare, whose monumental Wind Sculptures graced the MCA Chicago Plaza during the summer of 2014, has made small-scale versions of the sculptures created exclusively for the MCA's 2015 Limited Edition Series. Each is hand painted in one of five patterns and are immediately recognizable as his signature style. The sculptures were inspired by the sails of ships, and the patterns derived from Dutch wax fabrics widely used in Africa. Shonibare often uses these iconic fabrics in his work to exemplify how signs of national or ethnic identity are culturally constructed.

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About Artwork

The Wind Sculpture series continues Shonibare’s ongoing examination of the construction of cultural identity through the lens of colonialism. The work will create an opportunity to reflect on social issues associated with our current moment, including the movement of people and ideas across borders and the role of monuments in heterogeneous societies. Shonibare has described himself as a post-colonial hybrid, and his work in painting, sculpture, photography, film, and performance utilizes unexpected combinations of pattern and form to examine race, class, migration, and identity in a globalized world. The form of Wind Sculpture (SG) I suggests the movement of wind and natural elements rendered three-dimensionally through fabric, but also the sail of a ship, which for centuries was the only means of traversing oceans to exchange culture and ideas. The patterns on the surface are borrowed from vibrant batik textiles, which Shonibare has utilized in many forms and mediums and are often associated with European colonization of West Africa. However, these fabrics have a complicated history and came to the African continent by way of Indonesia through Dutch colonization in the 1800s. Today, these fabrics are still manufactured in the Netherlands, and sold and worn throughout West Africa. With Wind Sculpture (SG) IShonibare uses fabric as an entry point to rethink history and meaning and the relationship between Europe and Africa; it presents a story of shifting design and culture that also speaks to the confluence of many identities in public spaces.

About the Artist