Simon Lee Gallery has announced its representation of British Afro-Caribbean artist Sonia Boyce OBE RA. Boyce has been commissioned by the British Council to represent Britain with a major new exhibition at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2022.
Sonia Boyce OBE RA (b. London, 1962) came to prominence in the early 1980s as a key figure in the burgeoning Black Arts Movement of that time with figurative pastel drawings and photo collages that addressed issues of race and gender in Britain. In 1987, she became one of the youngest artists of her generation to have her artwork acquired by Tate and the first Black-British female artist to enter the collection. Boyce opened a new page in British art history, for women, Caribbean and also political artists, with aesthetically brilliant imagery and a strong personal narrative. She produces work involving a variety of media – drawing, print, photography, video and audio – exploring the interstices between sound and memory, time and space.
Sonia Boyce. Photo by Paul Cochrane, courtesy of UAL, 2013.
Lee says he and Boyce have known each other “since early in our careers”, adding: “It’s a great privilege to be joining forces now at this important juncture for her.”
The dealer notes how, for 40 years, “Sonia has been at the heart of British art with a generous, social practice that prioritises collaboration and participation. At a time when we have felt disconnected from one another in so many ways, her work feels more meaningful than ever. We look forward to working in partnership with Sonia and to amplifying her vital and urgent voice, to build a legacy for her practice at an international level.”
In the Castle of My Skin, 2020 Eastside Projects Birmingham, UK
© Sonia Boyce. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2021, Photo: Stuart Whipps
Since the 1990s Boyce’s practice has taken a significant multi-media and improvisational turn by bringing people together in a dynamic, social practice that encourages others to speak, sing or move in relation to the past and the present. Incorporating film, photography, print and sound in multi-media installations, Boyce’s practice is fundamentally collaborative and inclusive, fostering a participatory approach that questions artistic authorship and cultural difference. At the heart of her work are questions about the production and reception of unexpected gestures, with an underlying interest in the intersection of personal and political subjectivities.
Simon Lee Gallery’s inaugural exhibition with the artist will take place in London in Autumn 2022. Boyce is also represented by Apalazzogallery, Brescia, Italy.
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