By Victoria L. Valentine for Culture Type
MARUANI MERCIER announced its representation of Ghanaian artist Cornelius Annor today. Located in Brussels, Belgium, the gallery will represent Annor in Europe. Earlier this year, he was in residence at The Warehouse, the gallery’s expansive satellite space in Zaventem, Belgium. Next year, Annor will be in residence from February to April in anticipation of his inaugural solo exhibition at the gallery in April 2022, marking his European debut.
Annor makes mixed-media portraits and figurative paintings exploring his family heritage and the history and culture of Ghana. His images are informed by photographs from his family albums and an archive of fabrics sourced from the women in his family, including his wife, mother, and aunts.
The fabrics enable Annor to bridge time. Referencing history and tradition, he uses a fabric transfer technique to execute the faded patterns in his backgrounds. Working with richly colored and vividly patterned fabrics he employs collage for his subject’s clothing, a nod to the contemporary and the present. “You can really feel it’s real,” the artist has said.
Annor’s work is personal and it is important to him that his family is a part of each work that he produces. His hope is that viewers connect with the work and see their own memories and families reflected in the images.
“For me archiving as a form has the potential to open up discussions on lost and forgotten histories and its politics. And I intend to bring into presence these past histories through my works as a way of creating a room of memory which can migrate my audience to a particular moment in time and reflect on themselves.” — Cornelius Annor
“For me archiving as a form has the potential to open up discussions on lost and forgotten histories and its politics. And I intend to bring into presence these past histories through my works as a way of creating a room of memory which can migrate my audience to a particular moment in time and reflect on themselves,” Annor said in a statement.
Born in Accra, Annor continues to live and work in Ghana. An artist and teacher, he founded C.Annor Studio, where he supports and nurtures the talents of young and up-and-coming artists. Annor received a fine arts degree from Ghanatta College of Art and Design, where fellow alum include artists Amoako Boafo, Kwesi Botchway, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, and Emmanuel Taku.
Annor’s work has been exhibited in Africa and the United States. In January, Gallery 1957 in Accra presented “Cornelius Annor: A Family Affair,” the artist’s first-ever solo exhibition.
FIND MORE about Cornelius Annor on Instagram.
WATCH MORE On the occasion of his representation with MARUANI MERCIER, Cornelius Annor explains the foundations of his work.