Gagosian presents new paintings by Amoako Boafo in New York

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Gagosian presents new paintings by Amoako Boafo in New York
Installation view.© Amoako Boafo. Photo: Rob McKeever.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian is presenting Amoako Boafo: what could possibly go wrong, if we tell it like it is, the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. On view at 980 Madison Avenue, the solo exhibition of new paintings is also Boafo’s first in New York. A selection of the exhibited works will travel to Accra, Ghana, and be presented at dot.ateliers in May 2023.

Boafo’s large-scale portraits portray his friends and those he admires with candor, joy, and individuality. Focused on Black identity, his monumental paintings have already become key works in the representation of contemporary Africa and the African diaspora.

Boafo paints the faces and bodies of his subjects with his fingertips rather than a brush, the directness of his touch enhancing their expressive qualities. The works’ surfaces feature a gestural facture which the artist uses to model the figures’ anatomy. Making eye contact, Boafo’s subjects return the gaze of the viewer in an assertion of presence and identity, reflecting the artist’s interest in conveying charisma and individuality. The characters occupy domestic interiors, their casual grace reinforced by the familiarity of these settings.

Gold Daytona (2023) is a self-portrait of the artist in a pensive pose of absorbed thoughts, wearing a fitted mesh shirt and the Rolex watch indicated by the work’s title.

Boafo has collaborated with New York–based poet and lyricist aja monet on the occasion of what could possibly go wrong, if we tell it like it is. A catalogue documenting the exhibition is forthcoming.

Boafo’s commitment to the celebration of Black existence translates to his work in support of the democratization of art. The paintings’ travel to Accra presents an opportunity to include his peers affected by US visa restrictions who would not otherwise be able to experience the exhibition.

dot.ateliers is a space intended to strengthen and advance Ghana’s cultural ecosystem. Boafo commissioned architect David Adjaye to design and build the three-story building, which features a gallery, studios, an art library, and a café. The space offers exhibitions and residencies that encourage creative experimentation and support bold expression.

Amoako Boafo was born in 1984 in Accra, where he now lives and works. Collections include Baltimore Museum of Art; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Albertina, Vienna; Leopold Museum, Vienna; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; and Longlati Foundation, Shanghai. Exhibitions include Re-Masculinity, Brazil House, Accra (2018); Rubell Museum, Miami (2019); and Soul of Black Folks, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco (2021–22, traveled to Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2022; to travel to Seattle Art Museum (2023) and Denver Art Museum (2023–24). Boafo is the recipient of the Walter Koschatzky Kunstpreis in 2017 and STRABAG Artaward International in 2019.

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