Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s (born 1977, London) oil paintings depict figures that appear to exist outside of a specific time and place. There are very few references to background, history, activity and place of the individuals and groups of figures in her paintings. This ambiguity, which also resonates in the enigmatic titles given to each work, invites the viewer to consider the subjects as suggestions rather than explicit narratives or specific portraits. At the heart of Yiadom-Boakye’s work is an exploration of the mechanics of painting where she reconstructs the meaning that contemporary painting could hold, in all its unexpected beauty and idiosyncratic details. Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery was a survey of recent work presenting a comprehensive range of painterly techniques, representing the artist’s key series of works. Throughout her work, Yiadom-Boakye has raised timeless questions of identity and representation in art, bringing awareness to such matters and the shortcomings of art history.
Saturdays Live: Over three Saturdays, actors and performers read texts written and selected by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye on the occasion of her exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. The Family Day: Film-in-a-day invited participants to make a film-in-a-day, inspired by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s practice of completing a painting in one day. Two Saturday Talks with curators Amira Gad and Melissa Blanchflower also took place.