Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI

Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI
Image courtesy of Simchowitz

Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI
March 2nd – 31st March, 2024
727 East Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Simchowitz is pleased to present “TETTEH NTENI”, an expansive solo exhibition by renowned Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey. The exhibition will showcase Clottey’s distinctive style and profound exploration of socio-political themes through mixed media, highlighting his unique perspective on contemporary society. Opening at our DTLA location (727 East Washington Blvd. LA, CA 90021 / Parking: 720 E 18TH St.) on Saturday, March 2nd from 5PM – 8PM with a performance by Serge Attukwei Clottey at 6PM, the exhibition will be on view until March 31, 2024.

Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI
Serge Attukwei Clottey DJ Steloo, 2020
Duct tape, graphite on cork board
35.50h x 23.50w in
90.17h x 59.69w cmInstallation view Image courtesy of Simchowitz

Serge Attukwei Clottey works across installation, performance, photography, and sculpture. Clottey primarily engages with found materials sourced from his hometown, creating a dialogue with Ghana’s cultural heritage and identity. This highly anticipated showcase will feature a diverse selection of Clottey’s works, including his iconic assemblages made from repurposed Kufuor gallons, a medium that has become synonymous with his artistic identity.

Clottey’s re-use of these objects not only serves as a commentary on environmental sustainability but also delves into deeper narratives surrounding identity, migration, and cultural heritage. The Kufuor gallons, originally used as cooking oil containers and later repurposed for water or fuel storage, embody a conscious effort to transform and recycle plastic waste into art. This practice, a central tenet in Clottey’s body of work, is an ideology he refers to as ‘Afrogallonism’. In every facet of his work, Clottey invites viewers to contemplate the intersections of materiality, history, and culture, offering a nuanced perspective on the transformative power of art in the context of societal narratives.

Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI
Serge Attukwei Clottey- TETTEH NTENI
Installation view Image courtesy of Simchowitz

TETTEH NTENI” investigates the rich tapestry of Clottey’s familial heritage, tracing back to the migration of his forefathers from Jamestown to Labadi. In a new series of works, Clottey paints portraits over collaged, hand-written lottery tickets. These paintings are imbued with a combination of the complex impacts and influences of capitalism, notions of winning and losing, determination, disappointment, and intricately interwoven personal family narratives of migration, settlement, and displacement.

Central to the exhibition are two striking installations of Clottey’s plastic tapestries that offer poignant insights into his artistic process and the familial ties that underpin his work. The first installation is a dynamic collage, mirroring the bustling activity of his studio space.

Serge Attukwei Clottey Tea time, 2023
Plastics and copper wires
90h x 88w in
228.60h x 223.52w cm
Installation view Image courtesy of Simchowitz

Here, artworks are meticulously folded, rolled, bound, or stored. The second installation serves as a powerful testament of the lasting impact of Clottey’s ancestors. Drawing inspiration from the pillars upholding his family’s estate in Labadi, it represents the fundamental origins of migration and establishment. While Clottey’s family didn’t originate from Labadi, their trading pursuits resulted in settling there through a verbal agreement, symbolizing the profound connections formed in the realm of trade. These pillars, beyond offering shelter from intense heat, endure as symbolic representations of resilience and steadfast determination. 

Clottey’s exhibition is a retrospective exploration through the use of varied materials and a profound engagement with community and the transformative power of familial spaces. Through this exhibition, Clottey invites viewers to delve into this history, to explore the ancestral roots that have inspired generations of artistic expression, and to witness the culmination of his creative journey thus far.

Serge Attukwei Clottey: TETTEH NTENI opens on March the 2nd until March 31st, 2024 at Simchowitz

©2024 Simchowitz