Tate Britain will present the first major survey of the work of British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b.1977), May 19 – August 31, 2020. Widely considered to be one of the most important figurative painters working today, Yiadom-Boakye is celebrated for her enigmatic oil paintings of human subjects who are entirely imagined by the artist. This exhibition will bring together around 80 paintings and works on paper spanning almost two decades, including works from her graduate exhibition and new paintings shown for the first time.
The figures in Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings feel both familiar and mysterious. Each of her works is created from a composite archive of found images and her own imagination, raising questions of identity and representation. Her paintings are created in spontaneous and instinctive bursts, revealing expressive, short brushstrokes and a distinctive palette of dark, dramatic tones contrasted with flashes of brightness. By stripping away the signifiers of any particular era, her figures seem to exist outside of a specific time or place, inviting viewers to project their own narratives, memories and interpretations. Surveying the development of Yiadom-Boakye’s unique formal language from 2003 to the present day, the exhibition will include early paintings such as First, created for her MA degree show at the Royal Academy Schools in 2003, alongside more recent examples of her best-known paintings including Complication 2013 and No Need of Speech 2018.Continue reading