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signed, titled and dated 'Erector Lynette 2007' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 15 3/4in. (55 x 40.1cm.)
Painted in 2007
Arquebuse Gallery, Geneva.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
London, Gasworks, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 2007.
Cambridge, Heong Gallery at Downing College, When The Heavens Meet The Earth, 2017, p. 105 (illustrated in colour, p. 100).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

One of the UK’s most celebrated painters, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious Black people that exist outside of specific times or places. The paintings are rooted in traditional formal considerations such as line, colour, and scale, and are often self-reflexive about the medium itself. Yiadom-Boakye’s practice is also inextricably linked to her writing, both in the titles of the works and also in accompanying poems. In the noble, expressive painting Highpower, the protagonist is conjured from Yiadom-Boakye’s imagination as in all her portraiture. His brow is furrowed, giving a sense of severity, but a sensitivity also emanates through his languid posture; he gives the impression of being a renaissance man and a paragon of erudition. Manual shows a woman, seemingly just shy of middle age, her eyes trained over the viewer’s shoulder. There is a steeliness to her gaze and an air of quiet determination. All the while she is at ease, yet simultaneously alert and acutely aware of what is happening beyond the picture plane. Glorious fluorescent hues of yellow and orange permeate through the painting. Erector shows a middle-aged man with a piercing gaze staring beyond the frame. As in Highpower and Manual, the sitter appears to belong to a class of statesmen, philosophers and artists; wise, reputable, severe yet sensitive. Hard-won experience has shaped his features and Yiadom-Boakye’s brushstrokes effortlessly etch stoicism onto the man’s face. Magic is the more playful of the four works. The triptych is read left to right and it seems as if the sitter has delighted by a piece of information, after which they become animated and full of vivacious energy. The figure has longish, wild hair, and a seemingly artistic or impish temperament.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was born in London. She studied at Central Saint Martins, Falmouth School of Art and the Royal Academy. Her first solo exhibition was held at Gasworks, London, in 2007. She was awarded the Carnegie Prize in 2018 and was the 2012 recipient of the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013. Solo exhibitions include Fly In League With The Night, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2021) and Tate Britain, London (2020); Under-Song For A Cipher, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2017); Capsule 03: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015-2016); and Verses After Dusk, Serpentine Gallery, London (2015) among others. Group exhibitions include Shifting the Silence, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Unsettled Objects, Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates (2021); and Ghana Freedom, 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Her work is included in numerous permanent collections such as the Tate, London; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.

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