Details
AMOAKO BOAFO (B.1984)
Lady with Lemon Top
signed, inscribed and dated 'AMOAKO M BOAFO 2018 KING' (lower right)
oil on paper
3938 x 2718in. (100 x 69cm.)
Painted in 2018
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
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.
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Lot Essay

Alive with vivid colour and feeling, Lady with Lemon Top (2018) is a bold, large-scale example of Amoako Boafo’s distinctive portraiture. Framing her in headshot close-up, the artist has modelled his subject’s face with sensitive, nuanced strokes of his fingertips; marbled touches of inky blue, umber and magenta create a tactile depth of hue and texture that is charged with life. Her patterned ‘lemon top’ is depicted in bright, flat zones of colour that echo the paper cut-outs of Matisse. Raising her hand to her chin, she is a picture of composure. Her hair fills the picture plane like a crown.

The Ghana-born Boafo counts Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Kerry James Marshall, Jordan Casteel and Kehinde Wiley among his influences. His portraits’ incandescent, graphic qualities have also earned him comparisons to Egon Schiele – since 2014, Boafo has lived and worked in the Expressionist’s hometown of Vienna, Austria. His works have recently joined Schiele’s in the collection of Vienna’s Albertina Museum, and have also been acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Rubell Museum, Miami, among others.

Boafo’s fluid strokes and vital colours embody the dissolving of stereotypes that lies at the heart of his approach. The regal, elegant woman depicted in the present painting is vitally present, but she is far from rigid: Boafo’s lucid technique conveys the dynamism of authentic, individual life, and rejoices freely in the richness of human connection. As he has put it, ‘the primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness’ (A. Boafo, quoted in V. L. Valentine, ‘Amoako Boafo is Latest Young Black Artist to Make Major Auction Debut’, Culture Type, 11 February 2020).

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