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About the “disappearance of the green sculpture”, an answer from Whitman-Walker Health and “an invitation to the community to submit suggestions for artists to feature their sculpture work at the corner of 14th and R Streets, NW”


Yinka Shonibare sculpture “Material (SG) I” courtesy Whitman-Walker Health

Ed. Note: Whitman-Walker Health are targeting “12-18 month stays for these rotating sculptures.”

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to reach out regarding the piece on the removal the Yinka Shonibare sculpture outside of the LIZ building – and directly outside of The Corner at Whitman-Walker (Whitman-Walker’s cultural center).

Art Outside of LIZ, The Corner at Whitman-Walker:

Artist Yinka Shonibare’s public sculpture “Material (SG) I” illuminated the corner of 14th and R Streets, NW from November 2019 through August 2021 for all in the community to enjoy. It was installed there by Whitman-Walker as the first of a rotating sculpture series bringing public art to the 14th Street corridor – a neighborhood which embraces theater, arts, culture and community.

The bright and colorful art work, one of Yinka Shonibare’s notable wind sculptures, embodies the layered batik patterns and prints most associated with post-colonial Africa. We loved witnessing people documenting the sculpture, posing in front of it for pictures and children exploring the many curves and bends of it. Beyond its physical presence, the sculpture served as a warm greeter to the cultural programming at The Corner at Whitman-Walker.

We are so grateful to host Yinka Shonibare’s Material (SG) I and look forward to welcoming the next work of public art. If you have a suggestion or want to pitch an artist or sculptor to feature their work at 14th and R Streets, NW, send an email to [email protected]

Learn more about Yinka Shonibare’s work at yinkashonibare.com. Learn more about The Corner at Whitman-Walker at thecornerdc.com.

A Few Facts About Yinka Shonibare, CBE:

Yinka Shonibare, CBE was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art, first at Byam School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA.

Shonibare’s work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His trademark material is the brightly colored ‘African’ batik fabric he buys in London. This type of fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a new sign of African identity and independence. Shonibare’s works are included in prominent collections internationally.

About The Corner

The Corner at Whitman-Walker connects cultures and communities through programming of exhibitions, events, educational initiatives and artistic research, in order to increase access to art and to other cultural knowledge production. The Corner generates content around health and social justice concerns from an intersectional LGBTQ perspective by focusing on local and global contemporary art. We activate the creative potential of each and every person and gather a public that will help shape a hopeful vision of the future.

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