Bringing together a selection of her most compelling works – each created in just one day – this exhibition celebrates the artist’s innovative approach to contemporary figurative painting.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye exclusively depicts people in her paintings, yet – as she told Tate in her Turner-Prize nomination interview – they ‘somehow don’t make sense as portraits’. Perhaps this is because the figures are entirely fictitious, inspired by found images, memories, moments and themes, as well as her own imagination.
Instead of commemorating a sitter, she paints ‘things I want to be reminded of, to bring back into the world’. It’s an interesting twist. The subjects are often unnamed, ambiguously gendered and set against neutral backgrounds that defy time or space; Yiadom-Boakye rarely paints shoes as she believes they add unneeded context. Her primary concern as an artist is to provide a sensory experience that doesn’t require her justification.