Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes is Gideon Appah’s newly commissioned exhibition for the ICA. These paintings merge the artist’s interests in Ghanaian popular culture with his own imagination, dreams, and fantasies. Newspaper clippings, entertainment posters, and films spanning the 1950s through the ’80s become source material for Appah’s explorations of the rise and fall of Ghanian cinema and leisure culture. The cycle of cultural memory—from heyday to bygone—is depicted in a series of portraits of illustrious and forgotten figures.
The paintings include striking scenes from public and private life. From dapper, club-going men as seen in Hyped Teen (2021) and Bliss (2020-21) to solitary figures of the theater painting series (2021); from nude people in vibrant landscapes in Nude Boy (2021) to the quiet, domestic scenes of A Woman Drowned in Water (2021) and Man in Bed (2021) Appah presents people at various stages of personhood, from their most arresting public selves to their most intimate private moments, at times even blurring the lines between the living and the dead.
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.
Text from Institute of Contemporary art at Virginia Commonwealth University website.