Somaya Critchlow

Somaya Critchlow

Somaya Critchlow

Somaya Critchlow is a British artist whose figurative paintings of women explore facets of race, sex and culture through an instinctive, stream-of-consciousness process of image making. Working mostly on a small scale, her works depict bold, curvaceous and self-possessed female characters, of her own creation, that simultaneously combine and subvert the cultural expectations of race, gender and power in the history of portraiture. Imbued with dark, rich hues of browns, Payne’s grey and purples, and using sensuous brushstrokes, her heroines emerge starkly against atmospheric backdrops of thinned oils evocative of classical European painting – Velázquez, Rubens et al – and David Lynch’s hazy, seedy environs. They are self-reflective and personal, and at the same time commentary of the cultural, class and political dynamics of contemporary society.

Somaya Critchlow (b. 1993, London) lives and works in London. She received her BA in Painting at the University of Brighton before joining The Royal Drawing School in London, which she completed in 2017. Somaya was recently included in the group show Xenia: Crossroads in Portrait Painting at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York and has previously presented solo shows at Fortnight Institute, New York (2019) and Efrain Lopez Projects, Chicago (2018). Critchlow has been included in group shows at James Fuentes, New York (2019), Maximillian William, London (2019) and Orleans House Gallery, London (2019). Maximillian William is currently presenting her debut solo show in London, Underneath a Bebop Moon.

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SELECTED WORKS

EXHIBITIONS

PUBLICATIONS

PRESS

Oct20
PURPLE DIARY
PURPLE DIARY

Somaya Critchlow interviewed by Olivier Zahm

October 2020
Oct15
LUCY WRITERS
LUCY WRITERS

Postcards in Isolation 28: Somaya Critchlow and Dorothea Tanning’s Interior with Sudden Joy, 1951

October 2020
Sep18
OFFICE
OFFICE

Somaya Critchlow and the Erotics of Projection

September 2020
Jul13
I NEWS
I NEWS

Ella Kruglyanskaya, Sarah Lucas, Somaya Critchlow — the Best Art Exhibitions by Women Open Now

July 2020
Jun13
ARTSY
ARTSY

With Kitsch and Eroticism, Somaya Critchlow Confronts the Politics of the Black Nude

June 2020
Jun11
PURPLE DIARY
PURPLE DIARY

Somaya Critchlow’s “Underneath a Bebop Moon” at Maximillian William, London

June 2020
Feb15
ARTSY
ARTSY

10 Black Figurative Painters You Should Know

February 2020
Jan30
ARTNET NEWS
ARTNET NEWS

Editors Picks

January 2020
Nov30
THE NEW YORKER
THE NEW YORKER

Goings on About Town

November 2019

RELATED CONTENT

Oct20
PURPLE DIARY
PURPLE DIARY

Somaya Critchlow interviewed by Olivier Zahm

October 2020
Oct15
LUCY WRITERS
LUCY WRITERS

Postcards in Isolation 28: Somaya Critchlow and Dorothea Tanning’s Interior with Sudden Joy, 1951

October 2020
Sep18
OFFICE
OFFICE

Somaya Critchlow and the Erotics of Projection

September 2020