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Artist Yinka Shonibare Pushes Back Against Cultural Colonialism                                          

For three decades, British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare, has used his art to confront colonialism’s impact on African identity. By incorporating Western notions of Africanness, such as colorfully patterned Dutch wax cloth, into his works, he challenged viewers to focus on which culture influenced which. Mr. Shonibare’s more recent works, including some on view in New York later this month, explore a different kind of colonialism — in his words, “the African contribution to Modernism,” which is how European artists in the 20th century developed Cubism and Abstraction, in part by adopting and adapting African aesthetics found in  masks, instruments, carved figures and other objects they had encountered in museums or collected as artifacts from galleries or street markets in Europe.