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Cristea Roberts Gallery | London

Changing Spaces is a presentation devoted to new projects by three artists based in the UK and USA, whose work is deeply rooted in and influenced by their Nigerian heritage. Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Odili Donald Odita and Yinka Ilori have each established a distinctive visual language, informed by their individual personal histories and linked by a shared desire to articulate the importance of their heritage within the context of Western artistic practice. Visually captivating, their work is an important commentary on the importance of the social and political issues faced in a globalised world.


Yinka Shonibare CBE (b.1962), is a British-Nigerian artist living in the United Kingdom. His work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. A hallmark of his art is his use of vibrant wax Batik fabric, which he has incorporated into a variety of mediums including sculpture and printmaking. In Twins I-V, Shonibare references the cultural, religious and social significance of the birth of twins to the Nigerian Yoruba peoples, juxtaposing line drawings of their carved wooden figurines known as ibeji with images of Victorian silhouetted twins in formal attire. The set was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2024, Shonibare is one of the artists representing Nigeria at the Venice Biennale and his work is the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London.


Olayinka "Yinka" Ilori (b. 1987) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose visual language draws on both his British Nigerian heritage and the history of geometric abstraction, to convey new narratives through contemporary design and art. He is known for his bold palette and designs which he incorporates into architecture, printmaking, interior design, graphic design, textiles, sculpture and furniture. Both visiting Nigeria as a child and the vibrant clothing worn by visitors to his childhood home had a significant impact on him, and his work often recalls the colours and shapes first seen in these formative years. His first project with Cristea Roberts is a set of silkscreen prints, created using rich enamel-based inks to create striking, graphic designs which allude to the importance of contemplation and mindfulness.


Odili Donald Odita (b.1966) is a Nigerian American abstract artist who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Odita was born on in Enugu, Nigeria and his family were forced to flee Nigeria in order to avoid the Biafran war, moving to Columbus, Ohio, His work explores colour, both in the figurative historical context and in the sociopolitical sense. His practice is rooted in his deep knowledge of both modernist hard-edge abstraction and West African textiles, which he combines to create bold, often large-scale, compositions that celebrate the influence of African formal abstraction on Modernist traditions. The set of four works which comprise Firewall is the artist’s first major project in silkscreen published by Cristea Roberts, exhibited in New York for the first time at the IFDPA fair.


Firewall (one), Odili Donald Odita


Odili Donald Odita at Cristea Roberts Gallery

Exhibiting Artists

Yinka Shonibare CBE, Odili Donald Odita, Yinka Ilori

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