Gideon Appah Ghana, b. 1987

Overview

Gideon Appah is a mixed media artist who draws from personal experiences of life in the capital of Accra. In new works created for 1-54, Appah responds directly to his upbringing, by presenting them in the context of a family setting. The series titled Memoirs Through Pokua’s Window, transforms the booth into Appah’s Grandmother’s house, using old family photo-albums and half-memories as reference material.

Growing up in a large family, the works are reflective of a life characterized by strong emotional bonds, religious activities and folklore. Through nostalgic blues, deep green landscapes and charcoal, his dreamlike compositions place typical domestic interiors from 1980s and 90s Ghana against surreal landscapes.

Pots, stools, lamps, windows, photographs and masks populate Appah’s works, appearing as fragments from inconsistent past. Presented alongside glimpses of nature—plains, trees, plants and particularly rivers—Appah alludes to the organic transformation of memories over time.

Using thick, rough applications of acrylic upon collaged layers of appropriated posters, prints and photographs, Appah directly references his own familial histories. The posters used—advertising haircuts, barber shops and tailoring—relate to occupations of his aunts, uncles and grandparents, the overall result becoming an artistic archive of communal life in Accra.

Works
Blue River, 2020
Exhibitions
Biography

Born 1987, Ghana
Lives and works in Accra, Ghana

Solo Exhibitions:

2019
Love Letters, Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana

2018
Memoirs Through Pokua's Window, 1-54 ArtFair, New York, USA

2017
In Pokua's Place, Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana
Between a life and its dream, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2013
Sensation, Goethe Institute, Accra, Ghana

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2020
Residents, Art Dubai
Mitchell Innis & Nash, Frieze NY

2019
Estancia Femsa, Casa Barragan, Mexico

2017
African Perspectives, Lars Kristian Bode Gallery, Germany
Orderly/Disorderly, Ghana Science Museum, Accra, Ghana

2016
Origins and Lineages, DFContemporary Gallery, Capetown, South Africa
Kindle, Gallery2, Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg Art Fair, Kuenyehia Art Prize, Johannesburg, South Africa
Turbine Art Fair, Gallery2, Johannesburg, South Africa

2015
Barclays L’atelier Finalists Show, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2014
Artists in Focus, Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana

2012
End of Year Show, KNUST Museum, Kumasi, Ghana

Collections

Absa Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa
Royal Ontario Museum of Art, Canada
Private Collections

News
Press