By Stefan Eisenhofer, Munich
These contributions to this “Musée Imaginaire” of Diaspora Artists from Ghana have been written in 2009 for a large-scale publication that was planned to be published in Ghana by the Nubuke Foundation in Accra. The aim was to introduce the art worlds of Ghana to a broad international audience. The articles published here all refer to Ghanaian diaspora artists. The selection of artists was brought by the editors at the time.
The art worlds of Ghana have a strong and influential diaspora. Due to a growing interest in cross-cultural topics among critics, curators and collectors in the international field, increasing attention has been paid in recent years to works by artists with roots in Ghana.
This contribution presents the work of artists, who in some cases have lived and worked outside Ghana for many decades, mainly in Global North countries but also in Nigeria. Some of them have more than one place of residence and commute back and forth between Africa and other continents. They represent a generation born in Africa between 1944 and 1977, i.e. before or during the postcolonial era.
Common to them all is that they move in an international contemporary art arena going beyond nationalism, and have developed their own aesthetic adventures under the influence of a great variety of stimuli from all over the world. Their artistic production is embedded in various global art-making strategies and current international discourses. Yet they each follow their own creative goals and have their own individual histories and trajectories as person and artist.
The following artists had been selected: Joe Big-Big, Godfried Donkor, Owusu-Ankomah, El Anatsui, Senam Okudzeto, George Hughes, Lynette Yoadom Boakye, Anne Herbert, El Loko, and Daniel Kojo Schrade.