Recent portrait-like paintings by contemporary British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye are displayed adjacent to the historic Thornton Portrait Gallery at The Huntington in an exhibition curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hilton Als, staff writer and theater critic for The New Yorker magazine, and associate professor of writing at Columbia University. The installation of five of Yiadom-Boakye's studies of fictional characters create a dialogue with The Huntington's collection of highly formal 18th-century British portraits. Drawn from the world of found images and imagination, Yiadom-Boakye's figures seem familiar but also mysterious. She typically finishes each painting in a single day, infusing the works with freshness and spontaneity, as if they were painted from life.
The exhibition is the second in a trilogy at The Huntington that originated at the Yale Center for British Art. The first focused on the work of Celia Paul, and the final installment in 2021 will highlight the work of Los Angeles-based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
"The Hilton Als Series: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye" is organized by the Yale Center for British Art where it was on view Sept. 12–Dec. 15, 2019.