Apr 152022
 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s 2018 painting, The Ever Exacting, from her 2019 exhibition, In Lieu of a Louder Love at Jack Shainman Gallery in NYC.

This poem, written by the artist, was included with the press release for the show-

In Lieu Of A Louder Love

In the Shade of Hooded Cove,

In Debt to the Dead Oak.

In Range of a Twelve Gauge,

On Embers over Smoke.

At Pains to Hold the Wanton,

At Home to all who Knock.

At Prayer on Prickly Hearth Rug,

An Eye upon the Clock.

In the Parlance of the Pilgrim,

In Hallelujah Coat and Tie.

In Soul so Black Beguiling,

That the Ravens do Carp and Cry.

In Memory of A Cipher,

At Peace beside resting Dove.

In Light of Care and Kindness,

In Lieu of A Louder Love.

The information below is from the gallery’s artist biography, and gives some added insight on her paintings.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s oil paintings focus on fictional figures that exist outside of specific times and places. In an interview with Nadine Rubin Nathan in the New York Times Magazine, Yiadom-Boakye described her compositions as “suggestions of people…They don’t share our concerns or anxieties. They are somewhere else altogether.” This lack of a fixed narrative leaves her work open to the projected imagination of the viewer.

Her paintings are rooted in traditional formal considerations such as line, color, and scale, and can be self-reflexive about the medium itself, but the subjects and the way in which the paint is handled is decidedly contemporary. Her predominantly black cast of characters often attracts attention. In an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist in Kaleidoscope, she explained “People are tempted to politicize the fact that I paint black figures, and the complexity of this is an essential part of the work. But my starting point is always the language of painting itself and how that relates to the subject matter.”

The New Yorker published a wonderful portrait of Yiadom-Boakye by Zadie Smith in 2017, that is well worth a read as well.