Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
London, United Kingdom
EducationCentral St. Martins, Falmouth University, Royal Academy of Art
Known forPainting
AwardsPinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977, London, UK)[1] is a painter and writer of Ghanaian descent born in London, England, where she currently lives and works.[2] She is represented by the Corvi-Mora Gallery[3] in London and by the Jack Shainman Gallery[4] in New York City.

Background and education[edit]

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's parents were both originally from Ghana. After arriving in the UK, her parents worked as nurses for the NHS. Yiadom-Boakye attended Central St Martins College of Art and Design,[5] graduated from Falmouth College of Art in 2000, and completed an MA degree at the Royal Academy Schools in 2003.[1]

Art and awards[edit]


Her paintings are predominantly figurative with raw and muted colours. With her expressive representations of the human figure, the artist examines the formal mechanisms of the medium of painting and reveals political and psychological dimensions in her works, which focus on fictional characters who exist beyond our world in a different time and in an unknown location.[6] She paints figures that are intentionally removed from time and place, and has stated, “People ask me, ‘Who are they, where are they?’ What they should be asking is ‘What are they?’ ”[7]

Her work is included in the permanent collections of a number of institutions, including the Tate Collection, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Miami Art Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Nasher Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of African Art, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw. Her most recent exhibition was at London's Serpentine Sackler Gallery in 2015.[8]

She recently exhibited work at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. The show, entitled "Under-Song For A Cipher, opened in May 2017, and ran through September 3rd, 2017.[9] The show was profiled by Zadie Smith for The New Yorker in its June 2017 issue.[10]


In 2006, Yiadom-Boakye won The Arts Foundation Fellowship for Painting. In 2012, she won the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize. In 2013, Yiadom-Boakye was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for her exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery in 2012.[1][11]

Selected Exhibitions[edit]

Recently, Yiadom-Boakye exhibited a solo show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art titled Under-Song For a Cipher.[12] Other solo exhibitions in recent years include A Passion To A Principle at Kunsthalle Basel, and Sorrow for A Cipher at Corvi-Mora, both in 2016.[13][14] A solo exhibition in 2015 at the Serpentine Gallery in London was titled Verses After Dusk.[15] The artist exhibited in The Central Pavilion at the 55th International Venice Biennale in 2013 with her exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace.[2] She has also participated in the 12th Sharjah Biennial, in the UAE (2015), and 11th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, France (2012).[16][17]


  1. ^ a b c Wright, Karen (8 November 2013). "In the studio: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, painter". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE: The Love Within | Contemporary And". (in German). Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  3. ^ Corvi-Mora, Tommaso. "Artists:Lynette Yiadom-Boaky". Corvi-Mora. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Lynette Yiadom-Boaky Biography". Jack Shainman Gallery. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  5. ^ Cooke, Rachel (31 May 2015). "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: artist in search of the mystery figure". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Haus der Kunst - Detail". Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  7. ^ Bollen, Christopher (2012-11-27). "Galleries - Interview Magazine". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Verses After Dusk". Serpentine Galleries. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Cipher". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  10. ^ Smith, Zadie. "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's Imaginary Portraits". The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  11. ^ Extracts and Verses.
  12. ^ Bell, Natalie (4 March 2017). "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Cipher". New Museum. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ "A Passion To A Principle • Kunsthalle Basel". Kunsthalle Basel. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  14. ^ Alice, Primrose (9 September 2016). "Our pick of this week's art events: 9 – 15 September". Royal Academy. The Royal Academy of Arts, London. Retrieved 1 December 2017. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Sorrow for a Cipher, Corvi-Mora Gallery, London, until 8 October
  15. ^ "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist (1 June 2015)", Serpentine UK.
  16. ^ "GIBCA • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye". (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  17. ^ "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Verses After Dusk". Wall Street International. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2018-03-26.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Online version is titled "Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s imaginary portraits".