Straddling a nebulous boundary between abstraction and figuration, Boyd’s paintings offer perspective into the ways we move through the world, translating our everyday experiences and the often overlooked visual devices and objects that surround us, from a cross to a hairdryer, into vibrant fields of color and expressionistic shapes. The anchor for many of her paintings’ composition is a recurring motif of two figures interacting with one another in a surreal domestic space — the interactions oscillating between seemingly tender care or something potentially harsher or more transactional. While the figurative content of Boyd’s works are intentionally open-ended and non-linear, the emotional mood of the paintings is driven by the artist’s intuitive use of color, from acidic greens to warm saccharin yellows to pulsating reds. 

Colors often suffuse the painting’s physical environment and figures alike, conflating architecture and anatomy and stitching figures into their surroundings, fostering a unified psychological space held within a single painting.

Each painting possesses its own self-containing world of details and drama, yet one sees particular motifs — both abstract and representational — recur throughout her broader body of work, linking paintings together in a larger psychological and emotional ecosystem. 

GRIMM will first present Boyd’s work in New York this summer as part of a group exhibition of new British painting, The Kingfisher’s Wing, curated by Tom Morton. This will be followed by a New York solo exhibition, the artist’s first, in November 2022.

Gabriella Boyd (b.1988, Glasgow) lives and works in London. She studied at Glasgow School of Art (2007-2011) and Royal Academy Schools, London (2014-2017). Boyd was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2016, and was commissioned by the Folio Society to illustrate a new edition of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 2015. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Arts Council Collection, London (UK); Columbus Museum of Art (US); Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK) and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (UK). 

Recent solo exhibitions include Signal at Friends Indeed, San Francisco, CA (US); For Days at Seventeen Gallery, London (UK); and Help Yourself at Blain Southern, London (UK). Recent group exhibitions include The Kingfisher's Wing, curated by Tom Morton, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); Mixing It Up: Painting Today at Hayward Gallery, London (UK); Fifteen Painters at Andrew Kreps, New York, NY (US); Reconfigured at Timothy Taylor, London (UK); Fragmented Bodies at Albertz Benda, New York, NY (US); The Garden at Royal Academy, London (UK); Silent Tourist at Mackintosh Lane, London (UK); The London Open at Whitechapel Gallery, London (UK); Dreamers Awake at White Cube Bermondsey, London (UK) and So Everyone is Rich Now Apparently at Supplement at 225 Canal St, New York, NY (US).