Simon Lee Gallery has announced its representation of Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey.
The art of Serge Attukwei Clottey (b. 1985, Ghana) primarily employs found materials from the artist’s hometown in Accra, Ghana in order to create a dialogue with the city’s cultural history and identity. Utilising everyday objects such as discarded Kufuor gallons, car tyres, and recycling boat wood as his canvas, Clottey inscribes patterns and text that uplift the miscellaneous materials into symbols of Ghana’s vernacular economic system of trade and reuse.
The celebration of the yellow gallon containers (initially used as cooking oil canisters and then recycled to collect water or fuel) applied throughout Clottey’s work, stems from a desire to find ways to inspire people to work with plastics and recycle it in creative ways. This has become a prominent motif throughout Clottey’s oeuvre, and the artist has named this distinctive practice ‘Afrogallonism’.
Clottey’s economic stance permeates his paintings as well as his sculptures. The artist employs cork in his paintings, a material that changes with prolonged exposure to the sun. Additionally, keeping in theme with the artist’s concern for his city’s culture and history, cork is often used in churches and around his hometown to disseminate information. Clottey’s fragmented approach to figuration recalls Western Cubist portraiture, a genre that drew heavily on formal elements of traditional African sculpture.
Work by Clottey will feature in the gallery’s upcoming Art Basel 2022 presentation. The artist’s inaugural exhibition with the gallery will be presented in Spring 2023 in London. Simchowitz Gallery continues to represent Clottey in the United States.