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Simon Lee Gallery announces representation of Sonia Boyce
Portrait of the artist, 2018. Photo: Anne Purkiss.



LONDON.- Simon Lee Gallery 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. Simon Lee Gallery’s inaugural exhibition with the artist will take place in London in Autumn 2022. Boyce is also represented by Apalazzo gallery, Brescia, Italy.

Artist and academic Sonia Boyce was born in London in 1962. She 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.

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.

For nearly forty years Boyce has consistently worked within the art school context. Between 2012-2017, she was Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University and since 2014 she has been a Professor at University of the Arts London, where she holds the inaugural Chair in Black Art & Design. A three year research project into Black Artists and Modernism culminated with the 2018 BBC Four documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist?, exploring the contribution of overlooked artists of African and Asian descent to the story of Modern British art.

In 2016, Sonia Boyce was elected as a member of the Royal Academy and in the same year received a Paul Hamlyn Artist Award. In 2019, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, for her services to art, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art.

Recent exhibitions include the artist’s 2018 retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery, which caused controversy when John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) was temporarily removed from public view. The withdrawal of the painting formed the basis of Boyce’s six-screen film and wallpaper installation Six Acts (2018). In 2020, she mounted an intersectional exhibition of new commissions and existing work at Eastside Projects in Birmingham, which included work by seven other artists, co-curated by Boyce. In the Castle of my Skin travels to the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in June of this year.










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