Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. London 1977) makes figurative paintings drawn from a variety of source materials including life studies, photography and scrapbooks of found images. The figures are fictitious, inhabiting enigmatic settings that are often abstract or nondescript. There is a timelessness to the works; people recline, walk, watch, dance, speak, laugh and confer amongst themselves, much as people do and always have done.
Working in oil on canvas or coarse linen, the development of a language in painting through mark-making, colour, scale and composition has been central to her practice. Yiadom-Boakye also writes prose and poetry, and although for her this practice is separate from her painting the two forms of creativity are intertwined. The ideas of fiction, invention, rhythm and infinite possibility run through both. For the artist, painting, like writing, is a medium for communication and understanding that transcends time and place.
Jazz has also a deep influence on her work. In a playlist accessible via Spotify, she has compiled some of her favorite pieces by musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Nina Simone and Bill Evans. You can access it via the QR code.
The exhibition has been organized by the Tate Britain in cooperation with the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.
A comprehensive catalog edited by Isabella Maidment and Andrea Schlieker will be published to accompany the exhibition (German).
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