Anokye's Dance III, 2017

Unique Artwork

Ink and collage on paper

CM H 70 W 120

IN H 27.56 W 47.24

Certificate of authenticity - Signed by artist

Anokye's Dance III, 2017

Built upon a process of mural painting, and transported by the energy of applied social utopia, the repainting of Bowdich’s original illustration unfolds within the collective subconscious of belonging to the vast and thick layers of blackness.

With the revival of this work, Donkor draws parallels between analogies of the past and the present. From this perspective, contexts, events and practices are free for transfer and reinterpretation. Affected, concerned and subjected to the abundant manifestations of white power, the artist’s work challenges the global mainstream’s embrace of the fraught notions of transformation and progress, while humorously poking fun at the status quo - whose only transformative and progressive nature lies in a change of packaging.

In repainting Bowdich’s foundational drawing, Donkor combines historical and sociological accounts with a contemporary artistic understanding of a work which triggered British appetite for Ghana, and paved the way for the scramble for gold.

In his exhibition at Gallery 1957, Donkor has contemporised a work that was for too long situated in the cultural academic study of anthropology, shifting the work’s context to provoke a critical re-evaluation.

Performing the role of social critic, Donkor guides the viewers to a new mental space, asking them to reconsider this shared history. The work is part of a global process, galvanised by many Africans, to digest what has influenced who we are now, and how we make sense of who we are becoming.
Koyo Kouoh, Founder and Artistic Director, RAW Material Company, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the ZEITZ Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.

Godfried Donkor

Godfried Donkor is a British-Ghanaian mixed-media artist interested in the socio-historical relationships of Africa and Europe.

Born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1964, Donkor left at the age of eight, growing up between Spain and England before completing a BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London and an MA in African Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

Donkor’s work is included in international collections such as: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Smithsonian Museum of African Art - Washington D.C; Studio Museum, Harlem; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Spanish Sports Council Collection; National Collection of Senegal; University of Helsinki; and National Gallery of Botswana.

Selected group and solo exhibitions include: David Adjaye: Making Memory, Design Museum, London (2019);The First Day of the Yam Custom: 1817, Gallery 1957, Accra (2017); Afriques Capitales, Parc de la Villiette, Paris (2017); and Still the Barbarians, EVA International Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick (2016).

He lives and works across London, UK and Accra, Ghana.

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Gallery 1957

Gallery 1957 presents leading artists working across West Africa and the diaspora.

Launched by Marwan Zakhem on Ghana Independence Day, 2016, Gallery 1957 has since expanded across two gallery spaces within Accra, dedicating its programme to spearheading international exchanges between contemporary West African art practices and the rest of the world.

Presenting a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists, Gallery 1957 bridges the gap between local and international audiences. Beyond its roster of diverse artists and exhibitions, global gallery partnerships and the establishment of the artist residency programme have welcomed many international artists and arts professionals to Ghana, encouraging them to engage further with the country’s rich contemporary art scene.

Gallery 1957’s work expands beyond the gallery walls through a public programme that includes fairs, talks, off-site projects and site-specific installations commissions - continuously supporting cultural initiatives in Ghana, and beyond.

Gallery 1957
Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City & Galleria Mall
PMB 66 — Ministries
Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue
Ridge — Accra

Opening times:
11am—7pm during exhibitions

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Curated by Gallery 1957

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