Lynette Yiadom-Boakye becomes first female black British artist to have major exhibition at Tate Britain

Robert Dex
·1-min read
<p>Lynette Yiadom-Boakye had been ‘on the radar’ of Tate Britain for many years </p> (Courtesy of the artist)

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye had been ‘on the radar’ of Tate Britain for many years

(Courtesy of the artist)

Tate Britain is reopening with a show dedicated to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye - the first female black British artist to have a major exhibition there.

It features 70 paintings including work from her student days as well as a handful of paintings created at home in south London during lockdown only a few months ago.

Curator Andrea Schlieker said the painter had “been on our radar for many years” and Tate first bought her work in 2012.

She said: “There’s been a long interest in her work over many, many years so we invited her to do a show a few years ago because we felt this is crazy because she’s had so many exhibitions internationally and nationally.

<p>Condor and the Mole 2011</p>Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Condor and the Mole 2011

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

“They all focused on a relatively small body of work so we realised nobody had done a survey of Lynette so that’s why we jumped in.”

Yiadom-Boakye is known for her trademark large invented portraits of imaginary figures but six of the works she created at home are smaller works often showing solitary people.

Ms Schlieker said the paint was “still drying” on some of them when the artists first showed Tate the works a few months ago.

She said they were “absolutely thrilled” to have the works created when the painter was unable to travel across the capital to her Bethnal Green studio.

She added: “As the galleries reopen after the second national lockdown, it feels particularly exciting to show these works today.”

The show runs at Tate Britain until May 9.

Read More

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain review: great show, great artist