The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany dedicated to the work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977), a London-born painter and writer with Ghanaian roots. Her central theme is the human being: With oil or charcoal and pastel pencil she “portrays” women and men, occasionally resting, dreaming, dancing, gazing, or interacting with a counterpart.
These are, however, not real people, but rather composite figures whose appearances are derived from various sources. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye depicts exclusively Black people, thus abruptly revealing their widespread absence in the representations of European art history, which she has studied intensively. In the context of the collection of K20, her pictures, which she consciously stages and sets in dialog, will stimulate reflection on the potential of painting, as well as on female and male role models, on pressing questions of representation, racism,and diversity.
The exhibition, which will be on view in the Henkel Galerie of K20, was conceived by the Tate Britain in cooperation with the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and the MUDAM Luxembourg.