The Serpentine presents the work of figurative painter and Turner Prizeshortlisted artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977, London). Representing the range of techniques employed by the artist, the exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery consists of recent and newly produced paintings which will sit alongside a series of ten new etchings that have been created specifically for this show.
Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings reveal many dimensions and, while never generic, invite the viewer to consider the subjects as suggestions rather than explicit narratives or portraits. As a result her paintings display an ambiguity that resonates in the open-ended and enigmatic titles such as Accompanied to the Kindness, 2012 and Half a Dozen Dead, 2010.
At the heart of Yiadom-Boakye’s work is an exploration of the ‘mechanics’ of painting. She focusses on techniques, structure and composition and by playing with the scale and gaze of her figures, she reformulates the visual language of traditional oil paintings. With her depiction of black figures, Yiadom-Boakye raises timeless questions of identity and representation in art, drawing attention to the shortcomings of art history.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, said: “The enigmatic subjects of Lynette’s portraits appear to exist outside time and space, yet manage at the same time to reference a history of Western painting. There is so much more to see in her multi-dimensional work than immediately meets the eye. We are thrilled to be showing her at the Serpentine Gallery this summer.”
Yiadom-Boakye’s solo exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2012 and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, 2011. Her group exhibitions include Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, 2012; the 11th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France, 2012; the Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013; and the Sharjah Biennial 12, 2015. In 2012 she received the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
A publication released on the occasion of Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition presents the wider scope of her work and includes a compendium of her writings, together with texts by renowned writer Hilton Als and artist Glenn Ligon. For more information, please visit serpentinegalleries.org/shop
To accompany her exhibition, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has produced a Limited Edition print - from one of her new series of ten etchings made specifically for her exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. For more information, please visit serpentinegalleries.org/shop
The summer season at the Serpentine includes the concurrent exhibition of Duane Hanson’s sculptures at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, the 15th birthday of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, which opens to the public on 25 June and the Park Nights series of live events.