Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s oil paintings focus on fictional figures that exist outside of specific times and places. In an interview with Nadine Rubin Nathan, Yiadom-Boakye describes her compositions as “suggestions of people...They don’t share our concerns or anxieties. They are somewhere else altogether.” This lack of fixed narrative leaves her work open to the projected imagination of the viewer.
Her paintings are rooted in traditional formal considerations such as line, color, and scale, and can be self-reflexive about the medium itself, but the subjects and the way in which the paint is handled is decidedly contemporary. Yiadom- Boakye’s paintings are typically completed in a day to best capture a single moment or stream of consciousness.
Her predominantly black cast of characters often attracts attention. In a recent interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist in Kaleidoscope, she explains. “Race is something that I can completely manipulate, or reinvent, or use as I want to. Also, they’re all black because...I’m not white.” However Yiadom-Boakye maintains, “People are tempted to politicize the fact that I paint black figures, and the complexity of this is an essential part of the work. But my starting point is always the language of painting itself and how that relates to the subject matter.”
Yiadom-Boakye was born in 1977 in London, where she is currently based. She attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Falmouth College of Arts and the Royal Academy Schools.
Yiadom-Boakye has had several important solo museum shows, most recently at Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012) and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2011). Her work has appeared in many group exhibitions, most recently including the Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York (2012), and the 11th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France (2012). Her work is included in the Encyclopedic Palace, at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2013).
She is included in many institutional collections including the Tate Collection, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Miami Art Museum, Florida, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Arts Council Collection, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina.
Yiadom-Boakye was the 2012 recipient of the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Price and has been short-listed for the 2013 Turner Prize. Her self- titled monograph published by Prestel will be available in Spring 2014.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Yiadom-Boakye since 2010 when she had her first solo show entitled Essays and Documents. Her most recent show with the gallery was All Manner of Needs in 2012. Her next solo exhibition with the gallery will be in 2014.
Born in 1977, London
Lives and works in London
Royal Academy Schools
Falmouth College of Art
St Martins School of Art and Design
The Love Without, Corvi-Mora, London, March 1–April 13, 2013.
Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine, Fall 2013.
Salt 7: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 21–June 23, 2013.
All Manner Of Needs, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, September 13–October 13, 2012.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Chisenhale Gallery, London, March 22–May 13, 2012.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Notes and Letters, Corvi-Mora, London, March 10–April 28, 2011.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Any Number of Preoccupations, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, November 11, 2010–March 13, 2011. Curated by Naomi Beckwith. (Catalogue; texts by Beckwith, Okwui Enwezor and Thelma Golden)
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Essays and Documents, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, April 22–May 22, 2010.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Essays and Letters, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, January 21–March 6, 2010. (Catalogue; texts by Barry Schwabsky and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye)
FOREX: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Pleased to Meet You, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, October 1–November 21, 2009. (Catalogue; text by Barry Schwabsky)
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Manifesto, Faye Fleming & Partner, Geneva, Switzerland, October 1–November 2009.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Gasworks, London, June 2–July 22, 2007.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Series, Arquebuse, Geneva, Switzerland, May 24–June 20, 2007.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: How to Live, Prowler Project Space, London
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
The Progress of Love, The Menil Collection, Houston, December 1, 2012–March 17, 2013.
Fiction as Fiction (or, a Ninth Johannesburg Biennale), Stevenson Gallery, Capetown, November 29, 2012–January 12, 2013.
Future Generation Art Prize Exhibition, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine, November 3, 2012–January 2013.
The Souls, a Twice-Told-Tale, CEAAC (Centre Européen d’Actions Artistiques Contemporaines – European Centre for Contemporary Art Projects), Strasbourg, France, February 8–May 19, 2013.
Prose/Re-Prose: Figurative Works Then and Now, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, July 23–November 18, 2012.
A World Away, Dyrham Park, Glouchestershire, United Kingdom, March 30–October 28, 2012.
Breadbox, ZieherSmith at the ICON, Nashville, Tennesse, August 4–11, 2012.
Restless: Recent Acquisitions from the MAM Collection, Miami Art Museum, Florida, February 16–May 13, 2012.
The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, February 15–April 22, 2012.
Secret Societies: To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany, June 22–September 25, 2011. Traveling to: musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (CAPC de Bordeaux), November 10, 2011–February 26, 2012. Curated by Cristina Ricupero and Alexis Vaillant.
11th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, France, September 15–December 31, 2011.
Converging Voices, Transforming Dialogue: Selections from the Elliot and Kimberly Perry Collection, University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, May 6–August 21, 2011.
Building The Contemporary Collection: Five Years of Acquisitions, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, March 10–August 14, 2011. Curated by Trevor Schoonmaker.
Going where the weather suits my clothes…. a fall of light on fabric, Mothers Tankstation, Dublin, April 14–May 28, 2011.
Make Believe, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, February 17–March 20, 2011.
Living Together: Towards a Contemporary Concept of Community, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vittoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Traveled to: MARCO, Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Vigo, Spain, May 29–September 20, 2009. Curated by Xabier Arakistain and Emma Dexter.
When the Mood Strikes: The Collection of Wilfried and Yannicke Cooreman, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurie, Belgium, June 21–September 12, 2009.
Convoi Exceptionnel, Triangle France, Marseille
7th Gwangju Biennale 2008, Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju, South Korea, September 5–November 9, 2008. Curated by Okwui Enwezor.
Flow, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, April 2–June 29, 2008. Curated by Thelma Golden. (Catalogue; texts by Virginie Andriamirado, Rory Bester, Elizabeth Harney, Sarah Kent, Mariam Sharp and Kristina Van Dyke, Segun Afolabi, N’gone Fall, Mounir Fatmi, Achille Mbembe, and Gabi Ngcobo.)
100 Years Kunsthalle, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany, May 2–September 9, 2007.
The Triumph of Painting: Part 6, Saatchi Gallery, London, September 12, 2006–April 12, 2007. (Catalogue; text by Alison Gingeras)
The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society: 2nd International Biennal of Contemporary Art of Seville, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemorareo, Reale Ataronanas, Seville, Spain. Curated by Okwui Enwezor.
Personne ne veut mourir, Arquebuse (now Faye Fleming & Partner), Geneva, Switzerland, November 2–December 16, 2006.
Liquid, Lynette Boakye and Gary Hume, New Paintings, Royal Academy Schools Gallery, Hornsey
Direkte Malerei: Unmittelbare Bildwelten zwischen Abstraktion und Figuration, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany, November 6, 2004–May 1, 2005.
23 John Moore’s Liverpoo Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom, September 18–November 28, 2004.
Tate Liverpool Biennial, Tate Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom, September 18–October 28, 2004.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Barbican Art Centre, London. Traveled to: Coach Shed, Liverpool, United Kingdom
5 Young Painters, Artspace Gallery, London
Schools Show, Royal Academy Schools, London
Work Ethic, Gone Tomorrow Gallery, London
Premiums, Sackler Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Red Mansion Prize, London Institute, Millbank, London
Blackout, Brixton Art Gallery, London
Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev
Arts Foundation Award for Painting
deciBel Award for Visual Arts
21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
Arts Council Collection, United Kingdom
British Council Collection, United Kingdom
CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Miami Art Museum, Florida
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Saatchi Collection, London
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
Tate Collection, United Kingdom
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Zabludowicz Collection, London
Tassie, Whitney. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.” Salt 7. 2013.
Whitley, Zoc. "New Editions: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye." Art in Print. 2. no. 5 (2013).
Bollen, Christopher. “Lynette Yiadomboakye.” Interview Magazine (December 2012).
Higgie, Jennifer. “The fictitious portraits of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.” Frieze Magazine, no. 146 (April 2012): 86–91, cover, illustrated.
“Lynette Yladom-Boakye, “All Manner of Needs.” Time Out New York. 11 October 2012.
Obrist, Hans Ulrich. “Interview.” Kaleidoscope. Summer 2012.
Odutfunade, Bomi. “The Art Collectior: Kenneth Montague.” Arise. 2012.
“Night Life.” The New Yorker (1 October 2012).
Sherwin, Skye. “Artist of the week 186: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.” The Guardian UK, 19 April 2012: illustrated.
Basciano, Oliver. “Lyon Biennale” (exhibition review). Art Review, no. 55 (December 2011): 133.
Doubal, Rosalie. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye” (Corvi-Mora exhibition review). Time Out London, 29 March 2011.
“Embracing Ideas in Formation: Introducing Studio Lab.” The Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine (Winter/Spring 2011): 26, 30, illustrated.
Merjian, Ara. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye” (Studio Museum Harlem exhibition review). Art in America (January 2011): 113, illustrated.
Okeke-Agulu, Chika. “New Order.” Arise Magazine (March 2011): 114–115, illustrated.
Petros, Dawit L. “New Order.” Arise (2011): 114-115 (illustrated).
Schwabsky, Barry. “Margins of Modernism: A New Historicism in Art.” The Nation, 23 May 2011: 34–37, illustrated.
Yiadom-Boakye, Lynette. “Excerpt: Treatment for a Low-Budget Television Horror with the Working Title: ‘Dinner with Jeffrey’.” The Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine (Winter/Spring 2011): 6–7, illustrated.
“Africa News.” Phillips de Pury & Company, 15 May 2010.
Any Number of Preoccupations (exhibition catalogue). Texts by Naomi Beckwith, Okwui Enwezor and Thelma Golden. New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2010.
Budick, Ariella. “Lynette Yiadon-Boakye at the Studio Museum.” Financial Times, 26 November 2010.
Citron, Beth. “Critic’s Pick’s New York.” Artforum (April 2010).
Crow, Kelly and Jackson, Candace. “Sales Pick up at New York Fairs.” Wall Street Journal, 5 March 2010.
Essays and Letters (exhibition catalogue). Texts by Barry Schwabsky and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Cape Town: Michael Stevenson Gallery, 2010.
Lyons, Lauri. “The Armory Show; Contemporary Art in New York.” The Huffington Post, 9 March 2010.
Nathan, Nadine Rubin. “Fictional Portraits.” New York Times Magazine, 21 November 2010.
Nathan, Nadine Rubin. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Fashionable Eye.” New York Times Magazine Online, 15 November 2010.
Rosenberg, Karen. “Portraits of Phantoms, Struggling to Stand Out” (Studio Museum in Harlmen exhibition review). The New York Times, 16 December 2010.
Tramontano, Marisa. “Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.” Africa.com, 11 May 2010.
Enwezor, Okwui and Akeke-Ogulu, Chika, ed. Contemporary African Art Since 1980. New York: Damiani Press, 2009.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Pleased to Meet You (exhibition catalogue). Text by Barry Schwabsky. Cape Town: Michael Stevenson Gallery, 2009.
“Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Work of Art & Design.” Ghanian Journal, 24 December 2009.
Cotter, Holland. “Out of Africa, Whatever Africa May Mean.” The New York Times, 4 April 2008.
Enwezor, Okwui, ed. The 7th Gwangju Biennale (exhibition catalogue). Gwangju, Korea: Gwangju Biennale Foundation and BOM Publishing, 2008.
“Flow” (Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition review). Frieze 116 (June–August 2008).
Flow: The Studio Museum in Harlem (exhibition catalogue). Texts by Virginie Andriamirado, Rory Bester, Elizabeth Harney, Sarah Kent, Mariam Sharp and Kristina Van Dyke, Segun Afolabi, N’gone Fall, Mounir Fatmi, Achille Mbembe, and Gabi Ngcobo. New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2008.
Gilbert, Alan. “New African Art, Resisting Assimilation.” The Village Voice, 29 April 2008.
Riley, Cheryl. Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition review. Essence 38, no. 12 (April 2008): 72.
Valdez, Sarah. “The Afropolitans.” Art in America 96, no. 8 (September 2008): 80–82.
Eshun, Ekow. “Young, gifted and black: Arts and literature choices.” The Independent UK, 4 November 2007.
Neal, Jane. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – Gasworks.” Modern Painters (September 2007): 98.
O’Reilly, Sally. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye” (Gasworks exhibition review). Time Out, 26 June 2007.
Enwezor, Okwui, ed. The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society (exhibition catalogue). 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville. Seville: BIACS and BOMB, 2006.
The Triumph of Painting: Part 6 (exhibition catalogue). Text by Alison Gingeras. London: Saatchi Gallery, 2006.
Mitrovic, Sinista. “Bloomberg New Contemporaries.” Flash Art (January/February 2005).
Searle, Adrian. “Picture Perfect.” The Guardian, 30 November 2004.
LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE NEWS VIA TWITTER