The art exhibitions you can't miss in 2024

Yinka Shonibare CBE

Suspended States



© Yinka Shonibare CBE 2024. Photo: © Jo Underhill. Photo: © Prudence Cuming. © Stephen White & Co. Courtesy Yinka Shonibare CBE and Serpentine

Yinka Shonibare CBE is a celebrated British-Nigerian artist known for his thought-provoking works that explore themes of colonialism, identity, and cultural history. He often uses brightly colored Dutch wax fabrics to create sculptures, installations, and films that juxtapose Western historical and contemporary elements with African motifs. Shonibare’s art challenges perceptions of race and class, inviting viewers to reconsider historical narratives and their relevance today.

His distinctive style and powerful commentary have earned him international acclaim and numerous exhibitions worldwide, solidifying his place as a significant figure in contemporary art.

“Suspended States” marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in London in more than two decades.

This show presents new works that examine the influence of power structures on places of refuge, the controversies surrounding public statues, the environmental consequences of colonialism, and the enduring effects of imperialism on conflict and peace efforts.

The exhibition features two significant new installations at Serpentine South. “Sanctuary City” (2024) consists of miniature buildings symbolizing safe havens for persecuted and vulnerable groups.

“The War Library” (2024) includes 5,000 books wrapped in Dutch wax print, representing various conflicts and peace treaties.



United Kingdom


“The thought of being an artist in itself, I think is a utopian idea because I don’t really make anything useful.”


Yinka Shonibare CBE

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