THE MOST EXTENSIVE SURVEY of British painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye will open and close at Tate Britain in London. “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night” features about 80 works made over the span of nearly two decades, dating back to 2003. After debuting at Tate last December, the run of the exhibition was cut short when the museum closed due to COVID-19.

Visitors will have another opportunity to see the show in London. The museum announced the exhibition is returning next year. After touring three additional European institutions, “Fly in League with the Night” reopens at Tate on Nov. 24, 2022.

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Any Number Of Preoccupations,” 2010 (oil on canvas, 1524 x 2032 mm). | © Courtesy Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Dr Kenneth Montague / The Wedge Collection. Courtesy of Corvi-Mora, London and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

 

Yiadom-Boakye is an artist and writer, who lives and works in London. She paints fictional characters employing dark, dramatic palettes punctuated with moments of light and color. Outfitting her figures in basic clothing, she situates them in spare interiors and landscapes, dispensing with the kind of details that would tie them to a particular time or place. Timeless, yet familiar, her subjects draw the viewer in with their expression, gaze, and body language.

An in-depth consideration of her work, “Fly in League with the Night” charts the arc of Yiadom-Boakye’s output. The show spans the artist’s early production, including “First” (2003), which she presented in her postgraduate exhibition at the Royal Academy Schools in 2003, through more recent works made in 2018, 2019, and 2020, many shown publicly for the first time.

SIMILAR TO COUNTLESS ART MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD, the pandemic altered Tate’s exhibition schedule and severely affected the run of Yiadom-Boakye’s show. “Fly in League with the Night” was announced with great fanfare in spring 2019 and was originally scheduled to be on view May 19-Aug. 31, 2020.

With the onset of COVID-19, the exhibition was pushed back and a new opening date of Nov. 18 was announced. Given the uncertainty of the pandemic and fluctuating city mandates, Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition was further delayed, finally opening at Tate Britain on Dec. 2, only to close again on Dec. 16.

Nearly six months elapsed before it reopened on May 17, 2021, closing shortly thereafter on May 31, because the show was due to embark on a European tour. All told “Fly in League with the Night” was open to the public for less than a month in London.

All told ‘Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League with the Night’ was open to the public for less than a month in London.


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “A Passion Like No Other” (2012), “Geranium Love Sonnet” (2010), and “A Whistle In A Wish” (2018). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 

A four-city traveling exhibition, the show is currently on view at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, through Sept. 19. Next it is slated for Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf, Germany and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg), before returning to Tate Britain where it will be restaged in November 2022, for a three-month run.

“Any Number of Preoccupations” is one of the most striking solo images in the exhibition. Yiadom-Boakye casts her subject against a nearly black background in dramatic contrast to the loosely draped red robe he is wearing. Seated with his legs crossed, his elegant ensemble is matched by his direct and confident gaze.

The painting appears in the exhibition courtesy of Toronto collector Kenneth Montague. A former member of the Tate Africa Acquisitions Committee, he told Culture Type he “was excited to learn” the museum was planning to mount a major mid-career survey of Yiadom-Boakye and he “didn’t hesitate when asked to loan this important painting.”

Montague added: “Sadly, due to travel restrictions around the pandemic, I wasn’t able to attend the opening and indeed the show was forced to close just a couple of weeks into its run. Fortunately, the folks at Tate Britain will reopen Lynette’s show late next year (after several planned European museum stops), hopefully allowing for many more people to discover the beauty and power of her artistry. I know I will be there.” CT

 

“Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night” returns to Tate Britain in London, Nov. 24 2022-Feb. 26, 2023

 

UPDATE (08/06/21): This article was modified for length and clarity

 


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “The Generosity” (2010), “Alibi From Crude” (2014), “Hard Wet Epic” (2010). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Quorum,” 2020 (oil on linen, 850 x 1000 mm). | © Lynette-Yiadom-Boakye, Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, Photo by Marcus Leith

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “The Stygian Silk,” 2019 (oil on linen, 1800 x 1500 mm). | © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, Photo by Marcus Leith

 


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “Six Birds In The Bush” (2015) and “Penny For Them (2014). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Complication,” 2013 (oil on canvas, 200 x 250 mm). | © Courtesy Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Private Collection

 


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “Any Number of Preoccupations” (2010) and “First” (2003). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “A Concentration,” 2018 (oil on canvas, 200 x 250 mm). | © Courtesy Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Carter Collection

 


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “Geranium Love Sonnet” (2010) and “Condor And The Mole” (2011). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Few Reasons Left To Like You,” 2020 (oil on linen, 900 x 700 mm). | © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, Photo by Marcus Leith

 


Installation view of “Lynette Yiadom- Boakye: Fly in League with the Night,” Tate Britain, London (2020). Shown, from left, “Wrist Action” (2010) and Bound Over To Keep The Faith (2012). | Photo by Seraphina Neville for Tate

 


LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “The High-Mind And Disrepute” 2020 (oil on linen, 1800 x 2000 mm). | © Lynette-Yiadom-Boakye, Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, Photo by Marcus Leith

 

BOOKSHELF
The exhibition catalog “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night” was published to accompany the show. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Any Number of Preoccupations” documents the artist’s first-ever solo museum show, which was presented at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2010-11. The exhibition featured “Any Number of Preoccupations” (2010) and took its name from the title of the painting. “Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song for a Cipher” was published on the occasion of the artist’s solo show at the New Museum in New York. Forthcoming in November from Aperture, “As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic” explores Kenneth Montague’s The Wedge Collection.

 

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