Sonia Boyce

Vanessa Devereux Gallery

The work of Sonia Boyce, an English artist of African-Caribbean origin, is work in transition, work that is not yet mainstream—not yet inured to the prospect of a facile rehearsal of a post-Modernist orthodoxy. As such, Boyce’s work seems awkward, sometimes naive, and even repellent. But, in so directly addressing the question of what sort of work she might make, the artist has succeeded in opening up a discursive space too often left unexamined.

Boyce’s early intuition that she was not interested in producing art strictly identified as “feminist” or “black” seems to have been based on her realization that a practice drawing upon the fruits of a critical reassessment of representation would necessarily entail the abandonment of the kind of naturalism that was previously evident in her work. The assumption here was that such naturalism is far too easily associated with, and assimilated to,

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