Skip to main content

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye & other shows at the Studio Museum Harlem

Any Number of Preoccupations
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and other current shows
at the Studio Museum, Harlem

on view to March 13, 2011

Any Number of Preoccupations is artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's first solo museum show, and takes up the main space of the Studio Museum. Born in Britain of Ghanaian descent, Lynette's work is exclusively portraiture and figurative, but taken into a kind of conceptual realm.

The show includes works completed between 2003 and 2010, with many large canvases in the main area, and smaller pieces in the smaller room to the side. Her subjects are also of African descent, and I walked through the whole show before reading that they were actually fictional characters. I was quite amazed - they come across as so fully realized, people with histories and personalities. I wasn't surprised to find that she's also a writer of short stories that often have inconclusive, open endings.

The portraits are remarkably individual. Lynette works quickly, often finishing a piece in one go, and apparently discards many of them even as she keeps others. In terms of technique, they contain the elements of classic contemporary painting. The brushstrokes are fluid, most often in depicting cloth and almost to abstraction of the form.

In each piece, there seems to be one element that stands out by reason of colour and/or motion. Sometimes it's cloth, sometimes an element in the background - in 2010's Debut, the woman wears a white flower in her hair and there's one on the frame, as if she's about to step out (like Highriser - pictured).

In Diplomacy III, (also pictured,) a group portrait, it's a robed figure in white, along with a female figure in white and pink that stand out against all the men in dark suits. Reclining figures only appear in a couple of the smaller pieces. In some, the composition is quite dark, with the figure emerging more as you step away from the canvas - in those pieces, it's the eyes that pop out at you. In Significant Donkey's Feat (pictured,) it's the kinetic face and wild hair.

Other shows include The Production of Space, works from the permanent collection that speak to a relationship between bodies and public space. Permutations of the concept included Dawitt Petro's 2009 piece "Harlechrome", incorporating photos taken walking around Harlem. He examines the surfaces in particular, the textures of concrete, brick, stairs and walls.

Cameroonian artist Barthélemy Togou's staged confrontations on trains, at airport security checks and at border crossings feature wooden suitcases and other theatrical details, and are documented in photographs. They seem somewhat ambiguous in nature - half comedic, but also pointing at darker realities. Alice Attie's contribution included photographs of uniquely apt found locations, like Wake up Blackman spraypainted on a brick wall behind a fence.

Dave McKenzie's amusing video We Shall Overcome features a guy in a mask (I think it's Bill Clinton) walking along 125th Street, waving to the puzzled public as the song plays.

I also enjoyed Dawoud Bey's Harlem, USA (1975-79) inspired by James VanDer Zee's show at the Met. This set of black and white photographs capture the neighbourhood and its people in barbershops, on the street, in doorways, everywhere.

There was lots more to take in, too much to cram into one post, including a black and white show downstairs, the VideoStudio and Mark Bradford's Alphabet - all of them worth taking in.
Matana Robert's SoundStudio makes a really interesting addition to the visual pieces.

Images of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's work:
• Highriser 2009  Oil on canvas
• Diplomacy III 2009, Oil on linen, 190 x 250 cm
• The Signifying Donkey's Feat 2003


Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …