Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Atta Kwami, Ghana







Until Apr 4, 2015

HS-howard scott gallery, 529 W 20th, New York.

Xebubuyi, 2015.






“[…] I favour apparent simplicity alongside discovered complexity: this is vital. There is a tension at work in the handling of the material that enables the object to emerge. Even the frequent improvisations of an artist can become predictable, but for me the final result of a painting is not known, beforehand.” Atta Kwami, 2014

Atta_KWAMI_Ntonso_2015Ntonso, 2015.

Kuduo, is the name of the Asante brass vessel in which personal treasures are stored. Its significance is in providing a repository for valuables. Kuduo in this sense, stands for what he values in painting.

Atta Kwami’s vibrant abstract paintings offer fresh views resonating with hidden energies and emotions. He is particularly interested in a schematic visual language within which to construct individualised maps of places and experiences.

Atta_KWAMI_Amu_2012Amu, 2012.

In his drive for improvisation and diversity, Kwami is aware of the resilience and personal struggle (his own and others’) required to aspire to a level of hope and excellence. Kwami’s suite of 16 new prints, Prints in Counterpoint, based on studies of objects from the African collections of the World Museum Liverpool, will also be available. In 2013, Kwami’s installation, Davunu ‘Afe Nutata was included in the Fitzwilliam Museum exhibition: “Origins of the Afro Comb – 6,000 Years of Culture, Politics and Identity”.

Atta_KWAMI_Atideka2011Atideka, 2011.

Atta Kwami was born in 1956 in Accra. He trained and taught in Kumasi, Ghana and the UK. Atta Kwami is included in many institutional collections including the National Museums of Ghana and Kenya; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and The British Museum; the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (Washington, D.C.); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY); the Newark Museum (NJ); The Chazen Museum, University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI); University of Michigan Museum of Art (MI) and The Hewlett Foundation (CA). He works in both Ghana and the UK and exhibits widely in Africa, Europe and the USA. He was a Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Fellow and a Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, Cambridge (2012/2013). He is the author of Kumasi Realism, 1951-2007: An African modernism (2013, Hurst & Company, London / Accra: Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund).
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