Foster Sakyiamah (b.1983, Ghana) is a contemporary emerging artist based in Accra. Strikingly vibrant and echoing the rich ochre yellows of the Ghanaian landscape and atmosphere, Sakyiamah’s painting Sister Reunion is a superb example of the artist’s distinct painterly style that celebrates life and the rich cultural heritage of his country, Ghana. Taking cues from Malick Sidibé, the Malian artist, noted for his black-and-white photographs against patterned backgrounds, depicting the burgeoning pop culture of the 1960’s in Bamako, Sakyiamah captures, in a similar manner, on canvas, the effervescent spirit of his contemporaries in Accra, the city where he lives and works. One of the fastest growing cities in the world, Accra experiences a newly found economic freedom, and all the aspects that come with it- prosperity, wealth, fashion, and leisure-emerge as the main source of inspiration for the artist’s oeuvre. The instantly recognisable pop imagery, comprised from two full-frontal portraits, side by side, wearing the same hat, depicts the artist’s two sisters in a manner reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s double portrait of Truman Capote.
In person the swirls are very luscious and painterly, made with the rubber sole of a traditional Ghanaian sandal. This abstract patternation is now instantly recognisable as being a work from Foster. An emblematic symbol of Foster Sakyiamah’s practice is the remarkable clarity of his craft and process. The technical challenge in creating his gestural compositions becomes an equal interest for him. Playing with the boldness of saturated hues, the artist refines the elements in his painting into abstract arrangements of sensuous curves, lyrical yet precise, each carefully positioned so they don’t overlap. What resembles a mono printing technique of the swirly sole of “Chale Wote”, the popular Ghanaian sandal, renders the background into a flat surface with the appearance of a woven textile pattern. “Chale Wote”, the term referring to the flip-flops found in most Ghanaian homes and the symbol of the shoe that pervades class, ethnic, gender and age barriers, becomes, consequently, a statement of Sakyiamah’s practice that carries the marks of universal motifs and pictorial emotion to a broader appeal.
From the Artist’s Studio
Joana Vasconcelos (b.1971), Invicto, 2018
Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro faience painted with glazed ceramics, Azores crocheted lace
58 x 20 x 41 cm
£12,250 plus any applicable taxes
Born in 1971, Joana Vasconcelos is a visual artist renowned for her monumental sculptures, whose 25 years practise stretches to drawing and film. She updates the arts & crafts concept to the 21st century and incorporates everyday objects with irony and humour, creating a bridge between domestic environment and public space while questioning the status of women, consumerism society and collective identity.
International acclaim came at the first Venice Biennale ever curated by women with The Bridein 2005, followed by Trafaria Praia, the first floating pavilion in the biennale representing Portugal in 2013. The youngest artist and the only woman ever at Palace of Versailles, to a record breaking 1.6 million visitors, her 2012 exhibition was the most visited in France in 50 years. In 2018, Vasconcelos became the first Portuguese to exhibit at Guggenheim Bilbao with a major retrospective, which was one of the most visited in the museum’s history and reached 4th place in The Art Newspaper’s annual exhibitions’ Top 10.
Adrian Sutton specialises in post-war and contemporary art, spotting and supporting talent to nurture the careers of multiple artists who have gone on to achieve international recognition. These artworks are showcased via VSPACE, a newly founded virtual exhibition platform that hosts a specific painting or sculpture each month.
Adrian Sutton Gallery Paris will also be opening in October 2023.