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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977)

Second

Details
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977)
Second
signed with the artist’s initials, titled and dated ‘LYB 2005 “Second”’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
70 7/8 x 63 7/8in. (180 x 162.3cm.)
Painted in 2005
Provenance
The Franks-Suss Collection, London (acquired directly from the artist in 2005).
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013.
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.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Rachel Boddington
Rachel Boddington

Lot Essay

‘I want to think about painting, not the personality of the [person] sitting with me. I’m far more interested in how we can make people intelligible through paint, rather than getting bogged down in characters ... I want the work to be pulled out of the air somehow’ (L. Yiadom-Boakye, quoted in Interview with Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, May 2012).

Held in the Franks-Suss Collection for eight years following its completion in 2005, Second is a compelling example of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s unique figurative practice. Carefully composed in her signature palette of velvety bronze and rich amber hues, Yiadom-Boakye’s protagonist dominates the canvas with a statuesque sense of poise. Having risen to international acclaim over the past decade, with a major solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, last year, Yiadom-Boakye’s work employs form, colour, texture and painterly technique as tools for exploring questions of identity and representation. The characters that come to life through her brushstrokes are an agglomerate of memories, sketches and collected photographic materials, rendered intuitively and at speed. ‘I want to think about painting, not the personality of the [person] sitting with me’, she explains. ‘I’m far more interested in how we can make people intelligible through paint, rather than getting bogged down in characters … I want the work to be pulled out of the air somehow’ (L. Yiadom-Boakye, quoted in Interview with Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, May 2012). Through fluid expressive brushstrokes of dramatic dark tones and sharp highlights, Yiadom-Boakye weaves compelling narratives, personalities and scenarios from the depths of her imagination.

Yiadom-Boakye situates her practice within the art-historical lineage of figurative painting. She particularly admires Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Walter Sickert: artists who challenged the conventions of anatomical representation. As the present work demonstrates, Yiadom-Boakye is less concerned with realism than she is interested making the esoteric qualities of her subjects tangible through paint. Through the darkness of her palette and the dislocation of her subjects from both time and context, the central focus of tension in Yiadom-Boakye’s canvases resides in the piercing gaze of her characters. Charting the full spectrum of human emotion, her protagonists are unambiguously empowered.

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