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Cornelius Annor - Artists - Venus Over Manhattan

Cornelius Annor in his studio in Accra, Ghana. 

Cornelius Annor (b. 1990, Accra, Ghana) paints portraits and figurative works that picture moments of community and intimacy, set in domestic spaces. Annor’s subjects stem from memory and personal history in Ghana. With roots in personal memory and photography, the artist casts scenes of private life onto large-scale canvases. Annor’s paintings typically include arrangements of fabric, adding to the intimacy and evocativeness of the portraits. His use of traditional Ghanaian textiles lends a textural quality to his work, which has become characteristic of his artistic style. The backgrounds of the works often integrate similar patterns, establishing an atmosphere of layered memories, emotions, and experiences.

Annor has cited family history and photography as major sources of inspiration in his artistic practice, and his works often reference photographs from his family’s photo albums. He describes his use of photography as way to “reenact… past memories which seem lost, absent, forgotten or unknown.” Layered with skeins of paint, bolts of fabric, and rigorous draughtsmanship, Annor’s paintings renovate these referents, merging history with the present. His works excavate a personal photographic vernacular, and telegraph the past through an intimate painterly vision.

Cornelius Annor was born in 1990 in Accra, Ghana. Annor studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design. His work has been featured in exhibitions in Accra, London, and New York. His work is held in the permanent collections of The Bunker Artspace, West Palm Beach, and Espacio Tacuari, Buenos Aires. In 2022, Annor’s work will be featured in “Contemporary African Portraiture,” curated by Florian Steininger, at Kunsthalle Krems. Annor lives and works in Ghana, where he established C.Annor studio, a space dedicated to encouraging and supporting young artists.


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