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Ekow Eshun curates group exhibit at Gallery 1957

Updated: Apr 5

If you’ve heard of Amoako Boafo, Yaw Owusu, Godfried Donkor or Emma Prempeh - they are just some of the artists whose work will be on display from 16 September at a new Gallery 1957 exhibition in Accra.

Ekow Eshun/ Gallery 1957

British-Ghanaian writer Ekow Eshun is to curate the group exhibition entitled: ‘In and Out of Time’.

The exhibition, which runs until 12 December 2023, draws on the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa (to return to the past in order to move forward) and explores African cultural notions of non-linear time.

"In Western thought, people of African origin have long been imagined as the antithesis of ideas of modernity, progress, and futurity" - Ekow Eshun

New artworks from a range of media, including painting, collage and moving image will be included, bringing together both established and emerging contemporary artists from across Africa and the diaspora.

The show introduces artists who are new to Gallery 1957’s roster, such as Alexandria Smith, Emma Prempeh, Julian Knxx, Kenturah Davis, Lyle Ashton Harris, Todd Gray, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, and Zanele Muholi as well as returning artists Amoako Boafo, Arthur Timothy, Godfried Donkor, Kwesi Botchway and Tiffanie Delune.

Gallery 1957/Amoako Boafo
Amoako Boafo/ Gallery 1957

Ekow said: “I am excited to return to Gallery 1957 and to work with its continuously expanding roster of established and emerging artists.

“In Western thought, people of African origin have long been imagined as the antithesis of ideas of modernity, progress, and futurity. This exhibition explores the work of artists whose work confounds those binaries and instead draws inspiration from African cultural notions of time, space and being.

“It continues my interrogations into black identity, which include ‘The Black Fantastic’ at London’s Hayward Gallery in 2022, as well as the upcoming show ‘The Time is Always Now’ at London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2024.”

‘In and Out of Time’ runs parallel to a solo show of Ghanaian artist-in-residence Yaw Owusu, curated by Nigerian curator Azu Nwagbogu, as well as a presentation of artist Priscilla Kennedy, winner of the Gallery’s Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize 2022.

Gallery 1957 artist-in-residence Yaw Owusu

Yaw is one of the first artists to work with Gallery 1957. The exhibition comes six years after his solo debut. The new body of works focuses on the economics, independence, and value of socioeconomic culture in Ghana today.

Gallery 1957/ Yaw Owusu
Tunji Adeniyi-Jones/Gallery 1957

Known for his use of pesewas (Ghanaian pennies), Yaw’s new works take inspiration from the geometric abstraction on traditional Kente fabrics. His work looks at how the introduction of gentrification and immigration in the country plays into the current Ghanaian motives.

Opening simultaneously, Gallery 1957 also presents the solo exhibition of Priscilla Kennedy, winner of the second edition of The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize in 2022.

Priscilla Kennedy

Priscilla’s new body of work inserts embroidered female forms into patriarchal hegemonic cultural symbols such as Keffiyeh garments and masculine Kente fabrics. Her work challenges established notions of gender.

The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize is an accolade launched by Gallery 1957 in 2021.

The Prize is dedicated to women artists living and working in Ghana and its diaspora, and plays an important role in fostering their careers locally and internationally.

About Gallery 1957

Gallery 1957 is a contemporary art gallery with spaces across Accra, Ghana and London, UK.

The exhibitions form the core of Gallery 1957’s annual Cultural Week in September, which launched in 2016.

Going into its eighth edition, it brings together both celebrated and new artists from West Africa and the African diaspora across the Gallery’s exhibition programme, residencies, and the Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize.

Gallery 1957 is a contemporary art gallery with spaces across Accra, Ghana and London, UK.

The gallery is dedicated to spearheading international exchanges between art practices from these communities and the rest of the world, presenting artists who interrogate concepts of belonging and identity, cultural exchange, and social history beyond Western narratives.

Initially founded by Marwan Zakhem in 2016 to promote Ghana and West Africa’s presence in the arts scene, the gallery’s programming of exhibitions, installations and performances now encompasses emerging and established artists from the Global South and its diaspora.

The gallery further supports artists with initiatives like its residency programme in Accra, which aims to create a free space that helps artists develop their practice and body of work, and The Yaa Asantewaa Art Prize for female artists.

The gallery now hosts three spaces in Accra – one in the Kempinski Hotel and two in Galleria Mall – and a London outpost in Hyde Park Gate.

If you are planning on going to the exhibition, here are the details:

Gallery 1957 II, Accra - Located in Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City & Galleria


PMB 66 — Ministries

Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue

Ridge — Accra


Telephone: +233 303967575

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