By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
An exhibition of figurative paintings by Cornelius Annor, which comprise striking depictions of real family gatherings that dwell harmoniously together, is underway at Gallery 1957 in Accra.
Titled “Family Affair”, the multi-figured works explore his family history while drawing heavily from childhood memories that depict scenes nostalgic daily life.
He assembles performative characters in diverse scenarios where figures emerge and become one with backgrounds. Undeniably, recurring motifs such as headgears, hats, footwear, flying / bow ties, beverages, television sets, tables and hairstyles that recall Ghana in the 1960s and 70s, are quite vivid on his canvasses.
With distinctively Ghanaian domestic settings and figures that have been embellished with locally designed textiles, the paintings provide a peek into highly cozy moments of get-togethers, leisure, romance and amusement.
Inspired largely by his childhood memories, the artist vividly paints bedtime stories, multiple viewers of TV, dining, socializing and relaxing, while ensuring that his figures lean on each other with warmth and generosity.
These routine moments of day-to-day activities actually encourage the viewer to move from the black figures to diverse designs on the fabrics while paying attention to the details of his skills on material allocation.
Indeed, Annor effectively combines the past and present by skillfully creating works that evoke a dialogue between tradition and contemporary as well as older and younger generations.
Annor, who was educated at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design, has a keen sense of observation and possesses the ability to embellish the human figure, which he adorns with highly visible costumes.
The exhibition ends on Sunday February 28, 2021.