ONE OF THE MANY JOYS of living in London is the ability to view exhibitions in the city’s commercial galleries, many of which can be found in Mayfair and the West End. These galleries display artworks, which are mainly for sale, or occasionally borrowed from places away from London. The exhibitions are of a temporary nature. Visiting them allows members of the public to view works, which might never be on public view again in London because they will be sold to private collectors, big corporations, or to galleries and museums abroad. When we are in London, my wife and I try to visit several of the commercial galleries at least once a week. At the recommendation of our daughter, whose employment is in the world of art, we paid a visit to Pace Gallery in Hanover Square to see an exhibition that will continue until the 15th of April 2023.
The artist, whose works are being displayed in the spacious modern rooms at Pace, is Gideon Appah. He was born in 1987 in Accra, Ghana. His training as an artist was at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. His first major exhibition was in 2022 at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia (USA). His paintings have also been exhibited in many other places.
All of Appah’s works on show at Pace are oil and acrylic on canvas. They are all highly colourful and include, with one exception, figures in a variety of landscapes. The figures are positioned in landscapes that have an intensity that makes them look slightly unreal, yet completely compelling. One of the pictures we particularly liked is “Night Vision” which depicts a brightly lit town on a hill at night reflected on a sea of still water. The leaflet issued by the gallery describes Appah’s work as “dreamlike”, and this was also my opinion. On the whole, the dreamy nature of the works is quite distinct from that seen in the works of the great Surrealists of yesteryear. Appah portrays his scenes with the clarity and strangeness that I associate with the dreams I experience. His works are intriguingly eery, but not scary. If you can get to Pace, do so to enjoy the well-executed and fascinating works by this artist from Accra.