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‘How Do You See This World?’: The Art of Almighty God

‘How Do You See This World?’: The Art of Almighty God


January 16–May 8, 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, he is 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 signs shrank, he turned his focus to another part of his practice, known as “creativity arts,” which are the focus of this exhibition. These are produced largely for an international clientele and range in subject from portraiture to Christian themes, to commentaries on the world’s problems. Upon shifting toward “creativity arts,” Almighty continued to apply his sign-writing skills in the form of extensive texts on the frames or paintings themselves. Nearly every painting in the exhibition combines both image and textual commentary, an interplay characteristic of Akan arts of southern Ghana. The universe of themes in Almighty’s repertoire continues to expand as he looks to the global stage as a source for his potent commentaries on the human condition. 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 Museum, 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.

Image: Almighty God (Kwame Akoto), “GOD KNOWS ‘AM JAILED FALSELY. NOT I ALONE BUT MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.” 2005; pigment on plywood; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X2016.35.3; Gift of Doran H. Ross

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