Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

28 November 2013
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, To Tell Them Where It’s Got To, 2013, Oil on canvas, 60 x 55 cm © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Corvi Mora Gallery

Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. The collection at Plymouth includes a majority of works by English artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.  As the birth place of Sir Joshua Reynolds, ‘traditional’ portraiture forms a rich seam running through their collection. To Tell Them Where It’s Got To, 2013 by Turner Prize 2013 nominee Lynette Yiadom-Boakye will enter Plymouth’s collection as a counterpoint to these historic works rich as they are in status and art historical signifiers.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977, London) studied at Falmouth College of Art and now lives and works in London. Her figurative paintings are drawn from her own fictitious set of characters and allude to traditions of European portraiture. Her painting has been suggested as ‘a portrait of portraiture itself’, at once referencing and entirely evading the traditions of canonical portraiture as seen in the work of Reynolds, Northcote and Julian Opie.  To Tell Them Where It’s Got To, 2013 shown earlier this year at The Arsenale, Venice Biennale is a key work in showing the transition in Yiadom-Boakye’s from the confrontational pose to the figure turned away from the viewer.

Plymouth also holds paintings by the Camden Town Group. Sickert, a key member of the group is a particular influence for Yiadom-Boakye, she has said she admires his ability to describe a lot with very little, that “his mark-making often appears sparse and rough, graduating the tone from dark to light, working from the darkness at the back of the painting forwards into the light. Dark brown staining and dull dirty pinks become radiant.” Plymouth will show their new acquisition later this year alongside a profile portrait in their collect by Sickert’s called Little Rachel.

To Tell Them Where It’s Got To, 2013 will be on display at Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery from 4 March – 12 April 2014 in the exhibition Women in Art 


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