In this in depth survey of Gallery 1957 and its associated artists, this article explores the birthplace of numerous international favorites including El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama. While African art is growing in prominence on international platforms, African art scenes are demanding more attention also.
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In this article, TRUE Africa interviews Gallery founder Marwan Zakhem, Creative Driector Nana Oforiatta Ayim and Gallery 1957 artist Zohra Opoku. The piece explores the impact of Accra and the region on the artistic practice of Ghanaian German artist Zohra Opoku; and in turn, what impact Gallery 1957 has on the creative scene in Accra several months after its opening.
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Co-Founder of ACCRA [dot] ALT Mantse Aryeequaye discusses the organisation’s work and The Chale Wote Street Art Festival. Attended by over 10,000 people, the festival provides an alternative platform that brings together over 200 artists across art, music, dance and performance in James Town, Accra. To attend, RSVP here.
In August, Jeremiah Quarshie will be exhibiting a series of large-scale hyper-realistic portraits in an exhibition which comments on the implications of the enduring water-shortage in Ghana. Yellow is the Colour of Water will be Quarshie’s first solo show. The portraits depict women, surrounded by yellow jerry cans; Quarshie is concerned with the gender roles in the community “traditional roles have been modernized but maintained, in a way” he explains.
Read more from Quarshie’s recent interview with Blouin Art info here.
In West Africa, clothes are not only material things, they depict ideas of civil status, identity, family background and personal style. Discussing the German Ghanaian artist Zohra Opoku’s upcoming solo exhibition at Gallery 1957, Widewalls examines the ways in which clothing and fashion impacts the individual: philosophically, psychologically and socially.
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Gallery 1957 is delighted to have hosted CCQ in Accra. The newest issue of the magazine includes a series of features exploring contemporary artistic practice in Ghana today. CCQ worked collaboratively with artist Serge Attukwei Clottey and artistic collective GoLokal on a series of performative portraits photographed at their homes Labadi. The issue also features interviews with Creative Director Nana Oforiatta Ayim, artist Ibrahim Mahama and painter Jeremiah Quarshie. Read the issue here.
As part of the research for the Bienal de São Paulo, a series of study days are taking place throughout the world to guide the investigative journey leading up to the exhibition. In light of the history between West Africa and Brazil, Accra is one of the four host cities. Afro-Brazilian Muslims settled in West African coastal nations following the most significant slave rebellion in Brazil, the Malê Revolt in 1835.The Accra Study Days, entitled It’s alright! It’s alright!, are taking place 7 April to 10 April 2016 and employ this historical backdrop as a starting point. The Study Days will be framed around a series of exploratory mapping exercises focused on historical memory as that which is on a continuous loop; not only as pasts, but as futures. ANO is a local partner, and Creative Director of Gallery 1957 Nana Oforiatta Ayim and artists Serge Attukwei Clottey and Zohra Opoku are participating. The 32nd edition of the Bienal de Sao Paulo is curated by Jochen Volz, and co‐curated by Gabi Ngcobo, Julia Reboucas, Lars Bang Larsen, and Sofia Olascoaga. Entitled Live Uncertainty, the exhibition will be held from 5 September to 11 December 2016, and will explore representations of balance and disorder in society. For more information as to which sessions are open to the public, please contact email@example.com.
Zohra Opoku is currently on a residency with cultural research platform ANO. Journeying through the Ashanti region of Ghana, Opoku is creating work for her upcoming solo exhibition at Gallery 1957 titled Sassa opening on 25 May. Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Founder of ANO explains: “Through the exploration of the Ashanti concept of sassa – described by art historian Ladislas Segy as ‘the soul that can also lie outside of the body and that flows through all things’ – Opoku’s work is in constant interplay with this notion of the unseen and the immanent.”
On 6 March – independence day in Ghana – a group of more than 50 men and women, dressed in their mothers’ clothes, led a crowd of spectators from the street into the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra. The performance by Serge Attukwei Clottey marked the opening of Gallery 1957.
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A growing number of sub-Saharan African artists are realizing the importance and potency of technology — social media, apps, websites and online platforms focused on the promotion and archiving of African contemporary art. The Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey said that thanks to the Internet, where he posts his artistic productions on his Instagram account, he not only was offered — and took — the chance to study in Brazil but he also was contacted by one of his future collectors, who is based in California. “I think technology helps African artists to reach many people in the global art space,” he said by email. “For example, I’ve been getting many residency opportunities from all over the world because people always see my work online.”
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Gallery 1957 Creative Director Nana Oforiatta Ayim gives an insider guide to all the hot spots in the vibrant Ghanaian capital of Accra. Read the article here.