Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art


Larry Amponsah











Larry Amponsah is a Contemporary artists devoted to working in collage and pushing the idea of collage making as means or platform through which he achieves his artistic ends on the international level. Born on the 11th November 1989 in Ghana and now living and working in London, Larry studied BFA Painting at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, proceeded to Jiangsu University in China to study Chinese Traditional painting and calligraphy and he completed his Masters (MA Painting) at the Royal College of Art in London.
Amponsah’s practice mainly is about the use of archival images and materials sampled from various cultures to attempt to solve the unresolved questions of representation in the history of Art by employing Collage as a point of departure to create compositions of entities in spaces and spaces in entities, to tell fictional stories that deal with issues on a global platform and in doing so, the works create and take up positions in our contemporary Globalized community. The entities created are not just figures, as they become monstrous, grotesque-like yet not off-putting vessels or containers for ideas that lead or transcend viewers into a certain kind of space (the now-here but nowhere, yet from everywhere).

About Amponsah’s final project at the Royal College of Art titled ‘Come Close, Look Closer… If You Want Moor of Me’, he explains:
“This project has to do with my journey in search of the Self and a Voice as an artist coming form an African background. What is the role of art in this Contemporary era? Can art assume Power and still empower those who have none? What does it mean to be an artist in the Now and what is expected of them? Is the obligation of artists to meet the expectations of an audience who have been conditioned to experience art within a carefully controlled canon? These are the questions that led me through various processes to this point of arrival. My practice has grown to a level I’m very much proud of – a level where the works transcend meaning and functions of materials, extend cultural boundaries, challenges our understanding of space and time, and rephrases the meaning of Painting as imposed within the discourse of Art. Historically, scholars and practitioners have used Painting to represent Things… but contemporarily, I think it is important to also consider the need to use Things to also represent, investigate and interrogate what a Painting is or if one likes… can be. The Installations of this project has been deliberately constructed for audience to witness how Power in art can be equally divided and shared between a work of art and its viewers. Unlike many artworks in history, this work does not impose ideas into people but rather it creates avenues for curiosity”.

In Larry’s works, viewers begin to look and see differently to realize the urgency to think about and change the instability of our systems and structures on which our Identity is built. With disrespect to all forms of boundaries and classifications, the works suggest our mode of survival and create avenues for critical reflections.
Larry Amponsah (b. 1989, Accra-Ghana) is a multi-media artist whose practice investigates traditional modes of image-making whilst employing unconventional strategies of production to look at the contemporary politics of imagery. He received his MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London (2018) after studying for an MFA in Chinese Traditional Painting at Jiangsu University China (2016) and gaining his BFA in Painting at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana (2015). Larry is currently a Trustee of The Kuenyehia Art Trust in Ghana, shortlisted for the 2019 Dentons Art Prize, and recently won the Be Smart About Art Award in 2019.

Recent solo exhibitions include: The Open City of Many Gods Billboard, Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2019) and Imaginary Direction of Time, The Fine Art Gallery, CSU-Pueblo Hoag Hall, Colorado (2018). Recent group exhibitions include DEAR, Dyson Gallery, RCA Battersea, London (2019); DAMNED IF I DO… DAMNED IF I DON’T for Open Space’s: Of Hosts & Guests, Pushkin House, London (2019); FBA Futures Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London (2019); SURGE, East Wing Biennial 13, Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2018); YOUNG GUNS, Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, London (2018); Open House CCA, Delfina Foundation, London (2017); What is your local word for ‘Smile’?, ArtXanady’s Pop-up Gallery, Labone, Ghana (2016); and The Gown Must Go To Town, Museum of Science and Technology, Accra (2015), amongst others.