Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: Bronze Sculptures featured in Boomerang: Returning to African Abstraction

  • James Cohan is pleased to present Boomerang: Returning to African Abstraction, a solo exhibition by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA featuring new hand-painted bronze sculptures. The exhibition will be on view from October 26 through December 22 at the gallery’s 48 Walker Street location. 


    Merging African aesthetics with abstraction, three new sculptures continue Shonibare’s interest in freezing a moment in time and sculpting the impossible–giving form to the wind.

  • Yinka Shonibare CBE, Boomerang: Returning to African Abstraction. Film by Greg Poole. Produced by James Cohan, 2023.
  • Made in bronze, the sculptures transform a material typically used for Eurocentric public monuments into a weightless, billowing piece of cloth. Their sail-like abstract forms monumentalize the wind as a metaphor for the movement of people across the Globe, and by extension, histories of slavery, migration, colonialism, and empire.
    • YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Wind Sculpture in Bronze II, 2023
      YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Wind Sculpture in Bronze II, 2023
      £ 550,000.00
  • "I wanted to do something that's the opposite of sculpture: something that's essentially heavy but then made to feel light. But also it's about sculpting the empty spaces, sculpting what's not there."  - Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
  • The vibrant hand-painted patterns that cover the surface of each sculpture evoke Shonibare's signature Dutch wax fabric. Often misinterpreted as...
    The vibrant hand-painted patterns that cover the surface of each sculpture evoke Shonibare's signature Dutch wax fabric. Often misinterpreted as “authentically” African, Dutch wax textiles originated when the Dutch appropriated Indonesian Batiks and mass-produced their own version in the Netherlands. After failing to hawk their ersatz wares in Indonesia, the Dutch sold them instead in West Africa, where they ultimately became ubiquitous. 
    • YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Abstract Bronze I, 2023
      YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Abstract Bronze I, 2023
      £ 550,000.00
  • 'What is 'authentic' African art? Can I be part of a global conversation? Can I do that on my own...
    "What is 'authentic' African art? Can I be part of a global conversation? Can I do that on my own terms? The history of [batik] as a political material that's reappropriated by Africans is very interesting to me" - Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
    • YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Bronze Textile I, 2023
      YINKA SHONIBARE, CBE, Bronze Textile I, 2023
      £ 350,000.00
  • These works are a commanding alternative to conventional monuments of personal power, instead exploring the universal experience of historical change.
  • 'What kind of things do we want in our public spaces? It's also [about] that debate. I'd rather have something...
    "What kind of things do we want in our public spaces? It's also [about] that debate. I'd rather have something that's unifying and exciting rather than something divisive within our public spaces" - Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
  • Checklist