Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under – Song for a Cipher

New Museum, New York, United States
03 May 2017 - 03 Sep 2017

Cover Image: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tie The Temptress To The Trojan, 2016. Oil on linen, 47 1/4 × 63 1/4 in. © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy the artist; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; and Corvi-Mora, London
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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. This exhibition is curated by Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator, and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was born in 1977 in London, UK, where she lives and works. Recent solo shows include “A Passion To A Principle,” Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2016–17); “Capsule 03: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye,” Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015); “Verses After Dusk,” Serpentine Gallery, London (2015); and “Extracts and Verses,” Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013). Recent group exhibitions include “British Art Show 8” (2015–17); Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015); “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); and the second New Museum Triennial, “The Ungovernables” (2012).