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Sonia Boyce, born 1962
Published by Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, Rutgers University, New Jersey

1930s to 1960s

Former Title(s):

Rivington Place Portfolio

Hard and soft ground etching with spitbite aquatint
Sheet: 30 x 20in. (76.2 x 50.8cm)

Inscribed on back in graphite bottom left: "Brodsky Center | 18/50 | 07-325"; in graphite bottom center: "1930s to 1960s"; in graphite in artist's hand bottom right: "Sonia Boyce | 2007"

Signed and dated on verso in graphite, lower right: "Sonia Boyce | 2007"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
Copyright Status:
© The Artist
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This portfolio was published in 2007 to support the foundation of Rivington Place, a public gallery and community space in Shoreditch, London. Rivington Place describes itself as the UK’s "first permanent public space dedicated to diversity in the visual arts" and is housed in an award-winning building designed by David Adjaye, a British architect of Ghanaian descent. As well as hosting regular exhibitions, film screenings, talks, and performances, it is the home of the Association of Black Photographers (Autograph ABP), the International Institute of Visual Arts (Iniva), and the Stuart Hall Library. The artists selected to contribute to the portfolio were chosen for their international reputations and commitment to creating work dealing explicitly with contemporary cultural issues.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The London-born Sonia Boyce is one of the most important artists to have emerged from the British Black Arts Movement in the 1980s. Her work across several media explores the intersection of personal and wider cultural memory, with particular attention given to the female black experience in postwar Britain. Early on in her career, Boyce sought to establish drawing, sometimes seen as a lesser mode of art-making, as central to her practice. In this print, she literally draws connections between fourteen twentieth-century black female musicians and actors. This intimate web of relations is overlaid with seven brown stars, created using a technique called "spitbite," which involves painting acid directly onto an aquatint ground laid on a printing plate and could refer to the anguish that may have accompanied stardom for Boyce’s subjects. Boyce is currently heading up a project at the University of the Arts, London, called "Black Artists and Modernism," which seeks to catalogue all black artists featured in public collections in the UK. Boyce was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2016.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-09-27 - 2007-12-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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