Writing Art History Since 2002

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British artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is celebrated for her paintings of timeless subjects in everyday moments of happiness, comradery, and solitude.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Divine Repose, 2021. Oil on linen, 90 x 85 x 3.6cm. Courtesy the Artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Bilbao 2023

Her lush oils on canvas or coarse linen portray fictitious characters rendered in loose brushwork and set against dramatic backgrounds. The figures are composites drawn from different sources including scrapbooks and drawings. Animals such as birds, foxes, owls and dogs make regular appearances, casually suggesting they are pets, even if some are indeed wild animals. To look at a Yiadom-Boakye painting is an invitation to slow down and to carefully observe; to enter the imaginary visual tales she spins. The poetic and thought-provoking titles of the works reinforce the sense that these are more than paintings. They are fictions, much is left to the eye of the beholder.

Music is one of the creative forces that feeds Yiadom-Boakye’s practice. A playlist compiled by the artist specifically for this exhibition will be available to visitors, providing greater context into the inspirational sources for her work. The exhibition is comprised of paintings and charcoal drawings from 2020 to 2023 on display for the first time. Accompanying the exhibition is a fully-illustrated catalogue with texts by Yiadom-Boakye, writer and filmmaker Kodwo Eshun, and curator Lekha Hileman Waitoller.

The exhibition will be on view from the 31st of March until the 10th of September, 2023. For more information, please visit the Guggenheim Museum, Bilboa.

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