Born 1977, UK
Born in London to Ghanaian parents, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye paints imaginary people with the careful observation born of someone looking from the outside in. The personalities Lynette Yiadom-Boakye conjures in her paintings have the quality of real lives lived, a suggestion of their place in an unfolding personal narrative that the viewer can only guess at. This is unsurprising given the artist’s literary tendencies: she writes manifestoes for her studio practice as well as short fictional stories that are usually left without conclusion, open-ended for the reader to finish themselves, much like her paintings which are a form of communication through materials rather than text. Each painting is in fact an essay into human nature, a documentation of carefully observed quirks and idiosyncrasies, evidence of a populace that is strong, competent and Black. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye often places her black subjects in the garb of the modern portrait’s classical idioms thus opening a complex dialogue with art history.
Yiadom-Boakye has had, in 2010, a solo show ‘Any Number of Preoccupations’ at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York as well as solo shows at the Jack Shainma Gallery in New York and Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town. Her work is in many important collections including CCA Andratx, Mallorca; Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany; Saatchi Collection, London, UK; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York and Zabludowicz Collection, UK.