Los Angeles

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Brothers to a Garden, 2017, oil on linen, 59 × 47 1⁄2".

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Brothers to a Garden, 2017, oil on linen, 59 × 47 1⁄2".

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye knows how to capture decisive moments. In her show at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, which was curated by Hilton Als and traveled from the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, a group of six paintings document her black sitters, who are often deep in thought or on the verge of connection. Yiadom-Boakye limns her subjects with energetic brushstrokes, usually finishing her canvases in a single day.

In The Needs Beyond, 2013, a bearded man looks out at the viewer with shining eyes, his mouth neither smiling nor frowning, as if he is awaiting a response. His face emerges from a darkened room, in a cloud of browns and ebonies, and is touched with yellow and pink paint. With a few spare lines and deft tonal control, Yiadom-Boakye offers an image that gives the viewer the sense of actually being seen by another human being. The effect is

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