Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yiadom-Boakye @ The New Museum, NYC

Though the New Museum has been open in its current location for almost ten years, my first visit was last month. In April 2008, the museum's new building was named one of the architectural New Seven Wonders of the World by Cond√© Nast Traveler

According to Wikipedia, it is dedicated to introducing new art and new ideas, by artists who have not yet received much exposure or recognition. Ever since it was founded, the museum has taken on the mission of challenging the stiff institutionalization of the art museum. It continues to bring fresh air into the art world, connects with the general public and works to be free of elitist associations.

While I was there, the New Museum was staging three solo shows by women, yet another instance of the current, increasing exposure for women artists. I was particularly taken with the portrait paintings of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Can they even be called portraiture? The artist is painting these figures entirely from her imagination.

Yiadom-Boakye was a finalist for the Turner Prize, 2013. For this solo show, titled Under-Song for a Cipher, the artist created seventeen new works in oil.

Zadie Smith's thorough discussion of the artist and her work can be found in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Meanwhile, here are some images for your delight. (Somehow I managed not to get the titles for these gorgeous works.)

The show ends September 3, 2017. Three short audioguides to the show are available here.

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