Signed and dated '92' (lower right)
Private collection, Lagos
Ablade Glover is one of Ghana's acclaimed artists and regarded as a seminal figure on the West African art scene. Having been trained in Ghana, Britain and the United States, his artistic exploration conveys aesthetic acculturation of complex African representations fused with western modes of artistic expression.
Glover preferred to work on urban subjects like market places, lorry parks, shanty towns, urban spaces crowded with ordinary people, and studies on the women of Ghana showcasing the visual richness of the continent while linking modern Ghana with the mythological past of the African tradition.
The current lot is a vibrant oil painting, part of Glover's profile series which illustrates Ghanaian women in profile, rendered in hues of yellow. Part of his signature is the depiction of the woman in a stylized yet recognizable rendition of reality, swirling between abstraction and realism. Also evident is the “wet into wet” technique using thick application of paint that results in a textured finish that Glover is known for.
Movement and energy are emphasized in the vigorous palette knife application and the thick impasto that he employs in his works. Gestures are transformed into jagged lines accentuated by frenzied pop of colors to emphasize a sense of activity and motion, while his choice of colors reflect the bright colors and textures of Ghanaian fabric and textile. An element of pointillism is also present in his work where you have to stand back from the scenes, in order for the shapes, tones, and colors, to blend into each other.
"Glover's paintings radiate both movement and color. Using a palette knife in place of a brush, and starting with simple shapes, his paintings accumulate weight by a process of repetitive strokes, which create surprisingly dynamic images out of seemingly static planes. What appears to be a brilliantly executed abstraction at close quarters suddenly comes into a magical focus on retreat from the canvas, and a seemingly chaotic tangle of colors[...]" (Africa Now! Emerging Talents from a Continent on the Move exhibition catalogue, Washington DC, 2007, p.102)
Ablade Glover is a Ghanaian artist and educator, regarded as an important figure on the West African art scene. He founded the Glover’s Artists Alliance Gallery in 1993 to showcase emerging talents and bring international attention to traditional and contemporary African art. Glover was attending teacher training (1957–58), before winning a scholarship to study textile design at London's Central School of Art and Design (1959–62). He returned to Ghana briefly to teach before he received another scholarship that enabled him to study art education at the University of Newcastle, Tyne in 1964. For further studies, he attended the Kent State University where he earned his master's degree and the Ohio State University for his Ph.D. in 1974. After receiving his doctorate, Glover came back to Ghana for good and taught for the next two decades at the College of Art in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi until 1994. He received the prestigious Flagstar Award, the highest recognition for art in Ghana in 1998; the Distinguished AFGRAD Alumni Award by the African-American Institute in New York; the Ghana Order of the Volta in 2007; and the Millennium Excellence Award in 2010. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.Glover has exhibited widely over several decades, and his work is held in many prestigious private and public collections, including at the Imperial Palace of Japan, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
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