Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. This exhibition brings together around 70 works from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of the artist’s career to date.
The figures in Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings are not real people – she creates them from found images and her own imagination. Both familiar and mysterious, they invite viewers to project their own interpretations, and raise important questions of identity and representation.
Often painted in spontaneous and instinctive bursts, her figures seem to exist outside of a specific time or place. Her paintings are coupled with poetic titles, such as Tie the Temptress to the Trojan 2016 and To Improvise a Mountain 2018. Writing is central to Yiadom-Boakye’s artistic practice, as she has explained: ‘I write about the things I can’t paint and paint the things I can’t write about.’
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 exhibition is currently touring internationally before coming back to be restaged at Tate Britain for a full three-month run.