The Silence of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, “Condor and the Mole” (2011), Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (© Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye)

LONDON — Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a painter of portraits. These are not portraits of identifiable sitters. They are a melding, a merging, and an imaginative refashioning of a multiplicity of images found and seen. They cleave close to the human form as we habitually know and see it — so close, in fact, that it can be difficult to accept that these particular sitters do not exist in the world. Yet they do not.

The portraits on display in Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League with the Night at Tate Britain are not celebrations of individuals, but rather composite human creations that emerged as part of the process of painting. Images from a multiplicity of sources have rushed into the vortex of making.

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