Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s figurative paintings are drawn from her own fictitious set of characters and allude to traditions of European portraiture. The way in which an audience might project meaning on to these figures is a key point of interest for Yiadom-Boakye, addressing the very problem of representation – particularly with regards to black subjects – in figurative painting and public spectatorship at large.
Lynette’s paintings suggest a narrative but the people and places depicted are carefully ambiguous ciphers of the imagination. Occasionally there are small traces of specificity, such clothing or hairstyles, but largely the figures and scenarios appear unfixed to any clear associations of race, class, gender or location. Yiadom-Boakye deploys a consistent painterly strategy and palette of colours, with the works produced at speed, revealing fluid, expressive, brushstrokes; dramatic, dark tones with sharp highlights dominate.
Lynette (born 1977, London) lives and works in London. Yiadom-Boakye attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Falmouth College of Arts and the Royal Academy Schools. Recent solo exhibitions include All Manner Of Needs, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2012); Extracts and Verses, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012); Notes and Letters, Corvi Mora, London (2011); Any Number of Preoccupations, Studio Museum Harlem, New York (2010); Essays and Documents, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2010); Gasworks, London (2007). Recent group exhibitions include The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, New York (2012); A Terrible Beauty is Born, 11th Lyon Biennial (2011); Secret Societies, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2011).