Cornelius Annor: A Fabric of Time and Family March 16 – April 22, 2023 Venus Over Manhattan 55 Great Jones Street New York, NY 10012
Venus Over Manhattan will present Cornelius Annor: A Fabric of Time and Family, an exhibition of new paintings by the Accra-basedartist whose vibrant canvases offer glimpses of Ghanian life through figures in states of gathering, leisure, and repose. In the series of fifteen works on view, Annor depicts scenes culled from photo albums, archives, recollections, and imaginings—a group of paintings that radiate kinship and harken to both classical art historical paradigms and the unique aesthetics of modern African portraiture.
On view through April 22 at the gallery’s Great Jones Street location, this presentation marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with Venus Over Manhattan.
By drawing from references particular to Annor’s family and friends, as well as more wide-ranging sources like social media and movies, the artist endows his work with both immense specificity and universality. The salience of feeling—warmth and congeniality, a quality of fellowship and deep humanity—pervades his canvases. Of his paintings Annor has said, “I want everyone to see their family in my work.” Visibility and affirming image-making are critical motivations for the artist, who is passionately committed to depicting Africa and Ghana as vibrant, strong, relevant, and most fully and fruitfully alive. As the artist has said, “Because most of the positive images of Black people focus on the African American story, I would like what I am creating right now to depict positive imagery of Africa and Ghana. I want people to change their view about our beautiful continent.”
Honoring occasions of gathering, moments of respite, kith and kin, Annor’s paintings are both a testament to and celebration of the richness of Ghanaian life – nostalgic and envisaged, joyously resolute. Connecting the past, present, and future in a suite of works teeming with affection, Annor achieves a feat of remembrance and willful creation through his painterly practice.
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