The great reopening
Today’s the day that galleries and museums across the country reopen and we couldn’t be more excited to see art IRL again.
With just over two weeks to catch these two Tate exhibitions before they close, here’s what should be first on your list. You can go to the pub after.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Fly In League With The Night
Until 31 May 2021 at Tate Britain
Catch acclaimed British artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition while you can. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013 and was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 2018.
This exhibition brings together around 80 works from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of her career to date.
Her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people, often painted in spontaneous and instinctive bursts, are from found images and her own imagination. Both familiar and mysterious, they invite viewers to project their own interpretations, and raise important questions of identity and representation.
Writing is central to Yiadom-Boakye’s artistic practice, so make sure to look out for the poetic titles of her works.
Until 31 May 2021 at Tate Modern
Monday 31 May is also your last chance to see the first major UK survey of activist Zanele Muholi, one of the most acclaimed working photographers.
Covering the full breadth of their career to date, the exhibition includes more than 260 photographs of the self-described ‘visual artist’.
Since the early 2000s, they have documented and celebrated the lives of South Africa’s Black lesbian, gay, trans, queer and intersex communities.
Despite the equality promised by South Africa’s 1996 constitution, its LGBTQIA+ community remains a target for violence and prejudice and this struggle is depicted in Muholi’s early series, Only Half the Picture, alongside moments of love and intimacy.
Other key series of works, include Brave Beauties, which celebrates empowered non-binary people and trans women, many of whom have won Miss Gay Beauty pageants, and Faces and Phases, which sees each participant, often living authentically in the face of oppression and discrimination, look directly at the camera, challenging the viewer to hold their gaze.
Somnyama Ngonyama – translated as ‘Hail the Dark Lioness’ – also sees Muholi turn the camera on themselves.