EXHIBITION REVIEW: ‘The Love Within’ by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (Jack Shainman Gallery)

lby-10The artwork of British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, is presented in a solo exhibition called ‘The Love Within’. The collection is spread across two location of the Jack Shainman Gallery in Lower Manhattan.

Upon first glance, you will notice ambiguous settings, gender-neutral characters and the omission of labels which forces viewers to create their own fiction. There is also a reoccurring theme running through the compilation – most of Yiadom-Boakye’s subjects are predominantly black painted on a warm muddy backdrop.
In a recent interview with Kaleidoscope Magazine, she explains. “Race is something that I can completely manipulate, or reinvent, or use as I want to. Also, they’re all black because…I’m not white….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.”


Yiadom-Boakye’s imagination is impressive. It is hard to grasp that her paintings are all formulated from memory, scrapbooks and found images. While her work includes elements of narrative and abstraction through personal memory, the primary impulse is humanistic.

The portraits adopt a meticulous and almost meditative approach which adds a psychological depth to her work.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was born in 1977 in London to Ghanaian parents. She attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Falmouth College of Arts and the Royal Academy Schools. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

The exhibition will run until January 10, 2015. Click here to learn more.

Top image source: Jane Odartey

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