The gallery announced Thursday that Pace Gallery is now representing Ghanaian painter Gideon Abah.
Mark Glimcher, President and CEO of Peace Gallery, wrote, “We are delighted to announce that Gideon Abah will be represented.” ARTnews in a letter. “This new relationship comes after more than a year of close conversation and time spent watching the evolution of his amazing practice.”
Abah, born in Accra, Ghana in 1987, is inspired by Ghanaian popular culture. He studied art at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi and named Yinka Shonibare, Chris Ofili, El Anatsui and Julie Mehretu as his main influences.
Appah’s last exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, “More Luck” was a moment of profound confirmation for Glimcher, who was “astounded” by the new paintings. In this series, Abah’s eye-catching paintings are usually pared back, creating an effective emotional simplicity.
Before “More Luck”, Appah had a big solo show This spring at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Richmond, Virginia, where he showcased his talent for focusing on the past through a series that zoomed in on the heyday of Ghanaian cinema. The industry grew exponentially in the 1950s and 1960s, a period which Appah exemplifies by depicting the country’s famous theater houses in his compositions. Now rendered obsolete by the 1980s amid the stagnation of the industry, these homes represent the climax of the Ghanaian feature film.
Much of Abba’s work also takes a sad, surreal bend: characters line up and stare over their shoulders, a woman drowning her head in a bathtub full of water, and lonely horses against a gray sky.
“His compositions possess an intimate, indescribable spirituality that drives viewers deeper,” Glimcher wrote. “I’m so excited that Pace is now part of the showroom team behind Gideon.”
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