Ablade Glover Turns 85

One of Ghana’s most prominent painters celebrates his 85th birthday this year. This summer, October Gallery celebrated the life and work of Ablade Glover with an exhibition of new works by the artist, inspired by Glover’s love for the colours and energy of his homeland. Over a five-decade career as an exhibiting artist and an educator, Glover has helped to promote Ghanaian art throughout the international art world.

Born in Accra in 1934, Ablade Glover occupies a significant place in Ghana’s contemporary art scene as both Founder and Director of the Artists Alliance Gallery. Trained in Ghana, Britain and the United States, Dr. Glover has accumulated a number of distinctions, which underline his significance as an artist and educator Until 1994 he was Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Art Education and Dean of the College of Art at the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. 

Vibrant colour and movement typify Glover’s artistic approach; he paints using a palette knife instead of a brush, making many tiny rapid marks to give his paintings great depth and texture. There is a hint of impressionism about Glover’s work, as abstract shapes and forms transform into flocks of birds, bustling market scenes or townscapes. What seems at first to be an explosion of colours, becomes on closer inspection a detailed scene of people and buildings. Perspective is also an artistic tool that Glover plays with; he typically frames scenes from a high vantage point, looking down on a scene below. This draws the viewer in and adds interest to the composition.

Images courtesy of October Gallery.

Blog post by Jessica Edney. Read next: Liese Van Der Watt's article The Checkered History of Checks in the Geometric issue. Subscribe to Selvedge here


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