Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Cipher
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song for a Cipher
The lush oil paintings of London-based Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977) 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. Her elegant characters come to life through the artist’s bold brushwork, appearing both cavalier and nonchalant. This catalog accompanying her New Museum exhibition features an interview with the artist by Natalie Bell and Massimiliano Gioni, new reflections on Yiadom-Boakye’s work by artist Chris Ofili, and art historians Elena Fillipovic and Robert Storr.
Yiadom-Boakye’s mysteriously handsome figures exist in an allegorically retroactive space―a present where works like these, and those of other leading black artists, can aspire to self-invent a visual canon. (Christian Viveros-Fauné Art Agency Partners: In Other Words)