New York City, NY
This exhibition brings together a selection of works by British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, a 2013 Turner Prize finalist and one of the most renowned painters of her generation. Yiadom-Boakye’s lush oil paintings embrace many of the conventions of historical European portraiture, but expand on that tradition by engaging fictional subjects who often serve as protagonists of the artist’s short stories as well. These imagined figures are almost always black, an attribute Yiadom-Boakye sees as both political and autobiographical, given her own West African heritage.
Often immersed in indistinct, monochrome settings, her elegant characters come to life through the artist’s bold brushwork, appearing both cavalier and nonchalant, quotidian and otherworldly. In part because they inhabit neutral spaces, her subjects’ idle, private moments provoke the imagination of viewers and remain open to a range of narratives, memories, and interpretations.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is the first monograph of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977). The oil portraits of London-based artist depict characters who exist outside of a specific time and place. Typically completed in just one day, her pieces feature predominantly black subjects situated on ambiguous, sparse backgrounds.