03 Dec ‘How Do You See This World?’: The Art of Almighty God
‘How Do You See This World?’: The Art of Almighty God
Extended through November 20, 2022
‘How Do You See This World?’ is a retrospective of paintings by the prolific Ghanaian artist Kwame Akoto (b. 1950). Addressed as “Almighty” by friends and acquaintances, Akoto is the owner of Almighty God Art Works in the city of Kumasi, the capital of the Asante kingdom. His studio, established in 1972, produced signs for small businesses, cloth banners for evangelical events, and tin portraits for grave monuments. As the market for such works shrank, Akoto turned his attention to another part of his practice, which he calls “creativity arts”—the focus of the current exhibition. These pictures are produced largely for an international clientele and range in subject from portraiture to Christian themes to commentaries on the world’s problems. Almighty continued to apply his sign-writing skills in the form of extensive texts added to his paintings and their frames. Nearly every piece in the exhibition combines image and text, an interplay characteristic of Akan arts of southern Ghana. The universe of themes in Almighty’s repertoire continues to expand as he widens the scope of his commentaries on the human condition. His recognition has also grown: since 1995, he has been included in at least thirty exhibitions of contemporary African art outside of Ghana: in Italy, Poland, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Portugal, and the U.S. His works are held in museums and private collections worldwide.
‘How Do You See This World?’ is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and was curated by the late Doran H. Ross, former director of the Fowler, and completed posthumously by co-curators Erica P. Jones, curator of African arts, and Betsy D. Quick, former director of education and curatorial affairs. Generous support is provided by the Doran H. Ross Fund for African Exhibitions and the Fowler Fund.
PRESS RELEASE: ‘How Do You See This World?’ The Art of Almighty God
Image: Kwame Akoto (Almighty God) (b. 1950, Kumasi, Ghana), “Self-portrait of Kwame Akoto,” 2012; pigment on plywood; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X2016.35.2; Gift of Doran H. Ross