This review examines the midcareer retrospective Yinka Shonibare MBE in the context of its third and final venue, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. The survey featured examples of the artist’s familiar interests—the complex relationship between colonial and postcolonial history, art history as archive, European decadence—alongside works that emphasize his more recent focus on cinematic strategies and contemporary global politics. By juxtaposing works in different mediums executed over the past fifteen years, this carefully curated and creatively installed show provided both a vehicle for the artist’s most visually stunning works and a panoptical framework, illuminating the aesthetic and underlying conceptual affinities that subtly bind together the artist’s discrete endeavors.

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