SOMAYA CRITCHLOW

BIOGRAPHY

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 culture 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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EXHIBITIONS

UNDERNEATH A BEBOP MOON
Group Exhibition
June 18 – August 15, 2020
ROLE PLAY
Group Exhibition
November 20, 2019 – January 24, 2020

TALKS

SOMAYA CRITCHLOW INTERVIEW WITH OLIVIER ZAHM FOR PURPLE LOVE ISSUE
CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOMAYA CRITCHLOW AND AMANDA RENSHAW

PRESS

i NEWS
Ella Kruglyanskaya, Sarah Lucas, Somaya Critchlow — the Best Art Exhibitions by Women Open Now
July 2020
ARTSY
With Kitsch and Eroticism, Somaya Critchlow Confronts the Politics of the Black Nude
June 2020
PURPLE DIARY
Somaya Critchlow’s “Underneath a Bebop Moon” at Maximillian William, London
June 2020
ARTSY
10 Black Figurative Painters You Should Know
February, 2020
ARTNET NEWS
Editors Picks
January, 2020
THE NEW YORKER
Goings on About Town
November, 2019
THE EVENING STANDARD
The YBA Class of 2019
September, 2019
ART OF CHOICE
Somaya Critchlow
September, 2018