In the newly commissioned exhibition Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes, Gideon Appah uses newspaper clippings, entertainment posters, and films spanning the 1950s through the 1980s to explore the rise and fall of Ghanian cinema and leisure culture. He depicts the cycle of cultural memory, from heyday to bygone, in a series of portraits of illustrious and forgotten figures that are on view through June 19, 2022, at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The paintings include scenes from public and private life. In “Hyped Teen” (2021) and “Bliss” (2020–21), dapper men are depicted on their way to the club, while the theater painting series presents figures that are more solitary. Appah portrays people at various stages of personhood, from their most arresting public selves to their most intimate, private moments. From quiet, domestic scenes to vibrant landscapes and nudes, he aims to blur the lines between the living and the dead through scenes that suggest a cycle of life. His work speaks to a sense of loss — from the death of cinema to the death of democracy itself.
One central work in the exhibition, “ROXY 2” (2021), recalls Ghana’s famous Roxy Cinema, located in the capital city of Accra. By placing figures in a recognizable architectural space, Appah intends to pay homage to the country’s old cinema houses, once at the center of social life, particularly during Ghana’s struggle for independence from colonial rule. Popular Ghanian films also serve as source material for environments and characters in some of his paintings, which the artist uses to demonstrate how cultural appetite evolves and creates memories that define people and cultures.
Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes is Appah’s first institutional solo exhibition, curated by the ICA’s Curator Amber Esseiva. This exhibition was produced with the support of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.
The ICA is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit icavcu.org.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief, is one of the guest jurors reviewing applications for the two-month residency in Utica, New York.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.
At this year’s show, I reflected on the lack of bilingual materials, the absurdity of art-fair gimmick, and the workers who make it all possible.
Hear a band of improvisers led by Rajna Swaminathan and a performance of Morton Feldman’s “For John Cage” in programs inspired by the exhibition, “New York: 1962-1964.”
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including art made during the first stock market crash, a homage to feline friends, and the 10-year anniversary of a crucial public art initiative.
Astrid Dick was told that she could not paint stripes because Sean Scully and Frank Stella have done so before her, a patently foolish statement.