Whitechapel Gallery has announced that Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (b. 1962, UK) is the eighth artist to receive the prestigious annual Art Icon award, supported by the Swarovski Foundation.
On Monday 22 March 2021, the award will be presented during a virtual gala celebration hosted by Iwona Blazwick OBE (Director, Whitechapel Gallery), and feature an exclusive musical performance from four-time Grammy Award winner 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 auction of artworks donated by leading contemporary artists will also take place, hosted by Phillips Auction on www.phillips.com. 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.”
Shonibare was born in Lagos, Nigeria and lives and works in East London. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004. His sculpture, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square and is now on permanent display at The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. His monumental installation, The British Library (2014), which celebrates the contribution made by immigrants to Britain, has been on permanent display at Tate Modern since 2019. Recently, he has had solo exhibitions in Beijing, Singapore and London, and will have a major survey exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in March 2021. He is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; James Cohan Gallery, New York; and Goodman Gallery, South Africa.
Previous recipients of the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon are: Sir Howard Hodgkin (2014), Richard Long (2015) Joan Jonas (2016), Peter Doig (2017) and Mona Hatoum (2018), Rachel Whiteread (2019) and Francis Alÿs (2020).
Artist’s Resale Rights Will Continue To Benefit Artists Post-Brexit
The Artist’s Resale Rights is a royalty that provides fair and essential income for artists and artists’ estates when their work is resold through a gallery, art dealer or auction house. Since the Artist’s Resale Right legislation became the law in the UK in 2006, DACS has paid out £94 million in Artist’s Resale Right royalties to artists, providing certainty to artists in the UK and abroad. The transitional period for the UK to leave the European Union went ahead on 31 December 2020, which means the UK has a new relationship with Europe, which began 1 January 2021.
The government has reviewed the Artist’s Resale Right legislation to ensure that it remains effective from 1 January 2021. The UK will continue to benefit from this crucial right despite leaving the European Union. Read More Here
Patti Smith Poem ‘The Cup’ for Greta Thunberg oN Her 18th:
Over 1 million people visited the CIRCA website on New Year’s Eve/Day to watch Patti Smith usher in 2021. Kicking off her month-long residency on the Piccadilly Lights screen, the punk poet laureate recited a poem written for Greta Thunberg on her 18th Birthday:
“This is ‘The Cup’ and it was written with great urgency, which is why I would like to dedicate it to @gretathunberg on her 18th birthday. Her message for us all. A message we must all embrace. Is one of action. Of a schoolgirl who stepped out on her own. And appealed to us all. To save our Earth. Together.”
“If we be blind, if we turn from Nature, the garden of the soul, she will turn on us. In place of songbird, the shrill cry of the locust devouring the harvest, the terrible crackling of the blazing rainforest. The bushfires. The animals screaming. Peatlands smoldering, seas rising, cathedrals flooding, the Arctic shelf melting, the Siberian wood burning, the Barrier Reef bleached as the bones of forgotten saints. If we be blind, failing in our supplication, species will die, bee and butterfly driven to extinction, all of Nature nothing more than an empty husk, the ghost of an abandoned hive”.
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