By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Communicative paintings by the Osaka Triennial award winning artist Wiz Kudowor that span a period of forty years are currently on display in three galleries in Accra.
Titled “Retrospective” – the exhibitions, which are being held at the ANO, Berg and Artist Alliance Galleries – effectively trace the chronological trajectory, imaginative vocabularies and vigorous artistic language of Koduwor.
Curated by Sela Kodjo Adjei, Kudowor’s work at the Artists Alliance Gallery simultaneously draw on diverse energies and manages to push them beyond fixed spaces and characteristics in his quest to explore and interpret hidden truths.
Easily one of Ghana’s best respected and acclaimed modernist painters, his paintings are influenced by rich African symbolism, out of which he creates impenetrable messages that are characterized by stimulating titles and designations.
Employing pastels, acrylics, charcoal, inks, collages and watercolors, his bold figures tend to highlight body contours, faces, scenes and shapes that equally rejuvenate and conjure Ghanaian traditional themes while exploring geometric and revolutionary styles.
Emotions and facial expressions are deeply embedded in works on display at the Berg Gallery, which illustrate his mid-career period. Abstract masks, motherhood and feminine essence among others are quite pronounced in these small-scale paintings.
His works at the ANO Gallery from his early days as an artist reveal varied details of faces and their vocabularies in his dancing and romantic figures, market women and beer downing gatherings that largely portray practices in the local Ghanaian art scene in the 1970s.
Educated at the College of Art and Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi), Kudowor has exhibited widely across Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States of America.
His works can be found in a number of international collections including the Ministry of Culture (People’s Republic of China), African American Museum (Texas, USA), Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (Accra, Ghana) and the Osaka Prefecture Contemporary Art Collection (Osaka, Japan).
A multidisciplinary artist / academic, Adjei graduated with an MPhil in African Art and Culture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi). He has curated a number of exhibitions including the famous Chale Wote Street Art Festival.
The exhibitions end on Wednesday April 18.