Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b.1977) is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. Her paintings often allude to historic European portraiture – notably Thomas Gainsborough, Francisco de Goya, John Singer Sargent and Edouard Manet – yet in subject matter and technique her approach is decidedly contemporary. Through her focus on the depiction of imagined black characters Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings raise important questions about identity and representation.
This lavishly illustrated volume will accompany the first major survey of Yiadom-Boakye’s work. The exhibition will bring together around eighty paintings, drawings and prints from private and public collections across Europe and the United States and will also feature new works that have never been shown before. Thematic essays will offer in-depth discussion of the development of the artist’s practice since her graduation from the Royal Academy of Art, London, in 2003 and her work will be presented alongside her own writing and poetry. The publication will also seek to position Yiadom-Boakye’s extraordinary creative output over the past twenty years within a wider history of portraiture and representation, with particular focus on black subjects.
Yiadom-Boakye was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 2018 and was the 2012 recipient of the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013. This is the first survey of Yiadom-Boakye’s work to be published and will offer the most extensive overview of the artist’s work to date.