Isshaq Ismail at Efie Gallery
Ghanaian painter Isshaq Ismail presents a new body of acrylic works on canvas created during his residency with Efie Gallery in Dubai. The residency programme looks to create a more vibrant ecosystem for contemporary African artists in the UAE and advance their careers through engagement with local institutions, artists, culture, history and architecture.
In Isshaq Ismail’s latest exhibition entitled Beyond the Fence, Begins the Sky, viewers are met with a stunning collection of ten portraits that are both evocative and thought-provoking. Ismail’s signature style of abstract, large-scale rendering of the human face is evident in these portraits, which are all coloured in varying shades of lapis lazuli blue. The blue colour of the portraits creates an ethereal setting that symbolises transcendence and universality, yet also reflects a specific African context.
About The Artist
Isshaq Ismail (born c.1989 in Accra, Ghana) is a multidisciplinary artist and a graduate of Ghanatta College of Art and Design. Within his paintings, Ismail investigates and explores grotesque figures and textures, providing an intimate look at social, cultural and political realities of living in this dynamic 21st century. His works poetically express how those realities ultimately impact one’s identity, emotions and moods of the society. In 2015 and 2016 Ismail was shortlisted as one of the top ten artists in Ghana for the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art. Besides exhibiting solo shows at Nicholas Roman Fine Art in New York, Gallery 1957 in Accra and HdM Gallery in Beijing, he has participated in group shows at the likes of Christies New York, Ross- Sutton Gallery, Choose Gallery (Stuttgart, Germany), Ghana’s National Museum, and Absa Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa), as well as participating in a group exhibition at Christie’s London in collaboration with Efie Gallery.
Beyond the Fence Begins the Sky
Location: Efie Gallery
Duration: 28 February – 29 May 2023