In 2013, British painter Lynnette Yiadom-Boakye was shortlisted for a Turner Prize, launching the artist to critical acclaim. (She later lost to Laure Prouvost.) A corresponding exhibition staged at the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry included some of her most important paintings. Now, one of those works showcased there, titled The Like Above All Lovers (2013), is heading to auction.
On March 23, Christie’s will sell the painting, which depicts a single crouching figure pointing a rifle in an open green field and measures at more than 6 feet by 8 feet, during its 20th century art evening sale in London. The painting is expected to fetch a price of £400,000–£600,000 ($555,000–$833,000).
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The Turner Prize exhibition was a feat for the artist, with works from the show, such as Appreciation of the Inches (2013) and The Generosity (2010), subsequently acquired by museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Tate in London. A recently opened survey of her works at Tate Modern is slated to run through May 2021.
Yiadom-Boakye is known for her portraits of Black sitters, who are often painted not from life but the artist’s own imagination. They are typically cast against dark backgrounds and rendered in muted tones. Her works have been the subject of shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the New Museum, both in New York; the Chisenhale Gallery and the Serpentine Galleries, both in London; and the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland.
If the painting reaches its high estimate, it will be among the top few works by the artist ever sold at auction. The current record for a piece by Yiadom-Boakye was set in November 2017, when Hours Behind You (2011), depicting five dancing figures in identical white dresses, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $1.6 million, six times its estimate of $250,000.