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 George Afedzi Hughes  (1962 - )

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Lived/Active: New York / United Kingdom/Ghana      Known for: painting, performance art, art education

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Gangsta, 2004
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
George Afedzi Hughes (1962-)

"Hughes’ paintings are mixed-media works, incorporating acrylics, oils, enamels, latex, dimensional fabric paints in addition to found materials.  He produces three-dimensional objects which incorporate recyclable and found materials as well as performances which explore savagery along with daily routines and obsessions." (

Hughes teaches art eduaction at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.

2001 Master of Fine Arts, Painting, Drawing Minor.
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, U.S.A.
1992 Master of Arts, Art Education.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
1990 Postgraduate Diploma, Art Education.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
1989 Bachelor of Arts, Painting, Drawing Minor.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2009 George Afedzi Hughes, Atrium im Bockreiterzentrum, Herzogenrath, Germany.
Paintings exhibited referenced power relations and the implied violence within such relations. Curator: Jutta and Joachim Melchers.

2009 Signs & Symbols Collision, The Central University of Nationalities, Beijing, China.
The paintings specifically incorporated street signs, cultural symbols combined with fragments of representational imagery. Curator: Yao Junjie.

2009 On Guns Redcoats and Everything Else, InfluxContemporary Art Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal. Exhibited paintings that referenced the violence of colonial history, drawing parallels between that history and contemporary global conflicts. Curator: Nuno Salgueiro-Lobo.

2006 Paintings, Mainsite Gallery, Norman, OK, U.S.A..
The exhibition addressed three alternative possibilities conceived as ‘painting’: 1) the achromatic entitled “Reincarnation of the innocents” – an exploration of procreation, segregation, integration and beyond. 2) “Gold Splash” – 3D assemblages as a study of the history of conquest revealed in the allure and plunder of gold resources by colonial regimes. 3) 2D mixed-media paintings as a discourse in predation, mortality and the humor in futility. Curator: Christian Pitt.

2006 Social Predation, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY, U.S.A..
Exhibited paintings depicting notions of power relationships and the implied violence within these relationships. Curator: John Massier.

2006 George Hughes: Retrospective Exhibition, Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee, OK, U.S.A. A decade’s (1996-2006) overview exhibition of paintings and assemblages.

2005 Metaphysics, Carter Arts Center Gallery, Kansas City, MO, U.S.A.
Exhibited paintings that investigate the nuance of sensation such as doubt, discomfort and despair in our lives. Curator: Bernadette Torres.

2003 Cosmopolitan, Artists Alliance Gallery, Accra, Ghana.
Paintings exhibited captured the subtleties within multicultural environments experienced over ten years of living abroad. Curator: Ablade Glover.

2001 Lineage, Livingstone Gallery, The Hague, The Netherlands
Works on paper (blueprints and vellum) exploring human ancestry. Curator: Jeroen Dijkstra

2000 Von Ghana nach Amerika (From Ghana to America), Galerie Xenios, Frankfurt, Germany. Paintings and collages exploring contemporary urban life using traditional African sculptural proportions. Curator: Petra de Jong.

Group Exhibitions:
2010 Africa 2.0: Is there a Contemporary African Art?, Influx Contemporary Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal. Painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation by contemporary African artists of the diaspora. Curated by Nuno Salgueiro-Lobo.

2009 Nsoroma, The Dei Center, Accra, Ghana.
Invited to be part of the ‘Nsoroman’, exhibition organized by the Dei Centre in memory of the late Professor Joe Nkrumah, an international conservator, curator and intellectual.

2009 Homecoming Exhibition, Artists Alliance Gallery, Accra, Ghana.
Invitational group exhibition organized for seven leading Ghanaian expatriate artists practicing abroad. Curators: Kojo Fosu and Ablade Glover.

2009 It’s Never Too Late To Become a Man, Coningsby Gallery, London, England.
Curated by Joe Pollitt presenting works of artists he has met from the Continent of Africa over a period of ten years.

2009 Joburg Art Fair, Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Art Fair organized by First National Bank featuring international galleries.

2009 Figure and Form: explorations of Humanity, M. Rockefeller Arts Center, SUNY at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. U.S.A.
Exhibition offered a range of perspectives on the human condition using the human figure as subject matter

2008 The St. James’s Auction, Rosebury, La Galleria Pall Mall, London, England.
Curator: Marcus Grey: ‘Heritage I’ and ‘Heritage II’ pieces that explored inner-city violence through the use of collage, signs, symbols, text and mixed media.

2008 Dialog, Artco Galerie, Herzogenrath, Germany.
An exhibition of works by artists of African and European descent creating stylistic contrast.
Osi Audu, Günther Beckers, Sascha Berretz, René Böll, Diagne Chanel, Sokari Douglas Camp, Karl Fred ?Dahmen, Godfried Donkor, Felix Droese, Francois du Plessis,?Sokey Edorh, Artur Elmer – Amouzou Glikpa, Karl Otto Götz, George Hughes, Karin Kalhofer, Herbert Kaufmann, Jupp ?Linssen, EL Loko, Fritz Martin, Jaques Marechal, Luis Meque, Midy, Owusu-Ankomah, Hanns Pastor, Marie Pittroff, Tracey?Rose, Aloys Rump, Kofi Setordji, Emil Sorge, Rikki Wemega,?Kwawu – Zinkpé.

2007 Art Fair 21, Cologne Gladbacher Wall 5, Cologne, Germany.
58 distinguished galleries from 10 countries present a diverse range showcased 21st century art. Work exhibited: Gold Coast – a painting that chronicles the colonial history of Ghana.

2007 In and Out of Africa, Museum for Art and Ethnography, Schwaz, Austria.
An overview exhibition of four contemporary artists: Sokari Douglas Camp, (Nigeria/England) Zinpe (Benin/France) George Hughes (Ghana/U.S.A.) Owusu Ankomah (Ghana/Germany)

2006 Diagne Chanel / George Hughes, (dubbed France meets United States) Artco Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany. Paintings and drawings exhibited contrasted Diagne Chanel’s (Senegal/France) sociopolitical works with mine (Ghana/U.S.A.). Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Becker, former Director of the Ludwig Forum in Aachen, opened the exhibition.

2004 Transition, Artists Alliance Gallery, Accra Ghana/ LO/FTF, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Traveling exhibition of twelve contemporary artists of Ghana whose work serves as a medium to facilitate visions about the future.

2002 Third National Juried Competition, Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Sciences, Loveladies, New Jersey. U.S.A. Juried exhibition of forty-four professional artists. Juried by Maria –Christian Vallasenor, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, U.S.A.

2001 De Kleur Van De Liefde is Blauw (The Color of Love is Blue), The Old Flora Theater, The Hague, The Netherlands. An exhibition opened by the Ambassador of Ghana, H. E. Mrs. Grace Amponsah-Ababio and the Mayor of the Hague, Mr. W. Deetman. The exhibition sought to promote multicultural activities.

2001 The Vibrant Art of Ghana, Gemeente Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands.
To mark the third centenary of ties between the Netherlands and present-day Ghana, the Gemeente museum launched an exhibition of Ghanaian art on ten themes: language, ancestors, fertility, parades, history, slavery, status and power, music, foreign influences, fashion and hairstyles. Works of three artists (Philip Kwame Apagya Francis Provençal and George Hughes.) represented contemporary Ghanaian art.

2001 Menschenbilder (People Pictures), Society for Technical Cooperation, Eschborn, Germany. Six artists from partner countries (Mexico, Bangladesh, Poland, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria) show GTZ (Society for Technical Cooperation) estimation, personal views and visions on man.

2001 U vraagt ..Wij draaien?!? (You ask….We twist), Artoteek Zuidoost, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. An international group exhibition juried by art experts Totie Cronin, Sietse van der Hoek, Remy Jungeraman, John Menke, Karin Moor and Mildred Rambhajan.

2000 Goudkust Geschilderd (Painted Gold), Art Museum voor Zuid, Goes, The Netherlands. A two-person, Kwame Akoto and George Hughes exhibition of paintings comparing workshop- trained artist with college-trained artist respectively.

1999 Exposite Kuana, Cirkel Galerie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
An exhibition on contemporary Ghanaian art with the works of the following artists: Wiz Kudowor, Amon Kotei, George Hughes, Ablade Glover, E. Krotei Tetteh, Rikki Wemega Kwamu, Tafa Fiadzigbe, Victor Odoi.

1998 Zeitgenossische Kunst aus Ghana (Contemporaray Art from Ghana), Galerie Xenios, Frankfurt, Germany. Contemporary art from Ghana showing the diversity of styles by participating artists. Curated by Petra de Jong.

1998 New Music and Art, Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, Bowling Green, OH, U.S.A.
By invitation compendium of documentary photographs, paintings, videos and art vehicles manifested through radically embellished and augmented automobiles. Curated by Jacqueline Nathan.

1998 Toledo Area 78th Annual Exhibition, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
Juried annual area artists’ exhibition. Work exhibited: Current Affairs – a triptych painting addressing political turbulence.

1998 Hedendaagse Schilderkunst uit Ghana, Maison Descartes, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ten leading Ghanaian artists home and abroad exhibited most recent works.

Performance Art:
2010 Rites of Blue Impediment, Haverford College, Black Box Theater, Haverford, PA, U.S.A. A three-day residency organized by Ruti Talmor, Haverford professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. The performance used ritual, sound, ornate props and supporting cast to address subtle methods used by predominant cultural groups to impede the progression of sub-cultural groups.

2008 Shrines & Masquerades Live: Indifferentia, Commons Gallery, NYU Steinhardt, NYC, NY, U.S.A. Performance art inspired by the African traditions of shrines and masquerades as well as the negotiation of identity in cosmopolitan America.

2008 Race Symbiosis, collaboration with Geoff Krawczyk, intervened Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada. A performance that uses humor to present ‘race’ in the light of appearances, and that racial interdependence have often been overshadowed by the dialogue on racial differences.

2008 Sum-phusis, collaboration with Melanie Aceto, Assistant Professor Dance & Theater, Black Box Theater, SUNY at Buffalo, NY, U.S.A. Address allegorically the seemingly random effects of natural disasters contrasted with events initiated by human beings.

2007 What you perceive is what you conceive II, Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland.
An performance probing the significance of the irrational in relation to myths that govern our belief systems.

2006 Culture, Identity and Beyond, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Performance art utilizing a synthesis of painting, sound, music, poetry and video.

2005 Rights of Passage, Myers Gallery, Tulsa, OK, U.S.A. The performance explored the limitations of a boxed-in culture revealed through puppetry, manipulation, mimicry and ritual.

2010 Artist in Residence, topic: Look Both Ways Haverford College, Haverford, PA, U.S.A.
2007 Visiting Artist in Residence, topic: Cultural Assimilation and Rejection Queens University, School of History and Anthropology, Belfast, North Ireland.

2006 Visiting Artist in Residence, Culture, Identity and Beyond, Humboldt University, Department of Asian and African Studies, Berlin, Germany.

Invited Lectures:
2009 Visiting Artist, Speakers Series, SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY, U.S.A.
Lectured on my creative research overview presenting discussing the relationship between painting and performance art.

2007 Visiting Artist, topic: Journey Through Cultures, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Chelsea, London, England.
Lecture topic Journey Through Cultures, dealt with my experiences as an artist practicing abroad.

2005 Visiting Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University, OH. U.S.A.
Slide lecture, critiques and painting demonstration.

2004 Visiting Artist and Instructor, Quartz Mountain, Lone Wolf, OK. U.S.A.
Two weeks workshop created for the benefit of High school art instructors.

2003 Visiting Artist and Instructor, Quartz Mountain, Lone Wolf, OK. U.S.A.
Two weeks as Painting Instructor for 20 exceptional high school students in the State of Oklahoma.

2002 Visiting Artist and Instructor, Quartz Mountain, Lone Wolf, OK, U.S.A.
Painting Instructor for 20 exceptional high school students in the State of Oklahoma.

2000 Visiting Artist, Elmhurst Elementary School, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
Drawing Workshop for Elementary students.

1999 Visiting Artist, Athena Art Society, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
Slide Lecture on drawings and paintings.

1998 Artists Talk New Music And Art Festival Open Forum at Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
Panel discussion on Art and Music with composer John Williams, sculptor David Best and painter George Hughes.

1998 Visiting Artist, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, U.S.A.
Painting Demonstration and Slide Lecture.

1996 Visiting Artist, Riverside Elementary School, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
Workshop on Painting for Elementary students.

2010 ‘Layers volume’ 1, exhibition catalog.
2008 ‘Sum-phusis’ performance art catalog.
2008 ‘Gatherings’ catalog of recent paintings.
2006 Quest for purity introduction, catalog of Ghanaian artist Owusu-Ankomah
2002 The Visual Art of Ghana, essay commissioned by The Virtual Museum of Contemporary  African Art. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Exhibition Catalogs:
2009 Africa Now: Africa Contemporary Art, Julian Roup, London, England.
2008 The St James’s Auction, Fine Arts & Sculpture, Marcus Grey, London, England.
2007 Art Fair 21, Cologne, Walter Gehlen, Andreas Lohaus, Cologne, Germany.
2007 Art Contemporain, Julie Ralli, Paris, France.
2006 Social Predation, Hallwalls, John Massier, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A..
2004 Transition, Kojo Fosu, Accra, Ghana.
2004 Art, Fred Jones Museum of Art, Andrew Phelan, Norman, OK, U.S.A..
2001 Exposicion Binacional Arte, Paraguayo- Americano, Felix Alvarez, Paraguay.
2001 African Arts, Fowler Museum, Doran Ross, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A..
2000 Goudkust Geschilderd, Dr. Maruska Svasek, Museum voor Zuid-en Noord- Beveland,  Goes, Germany.
1996 Toledo Area Artists, Toledo Museum, Dawn Ostrand-Naujock, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.
1993 Dynamic Structure & Form, Gaglliardi Contemporary Art, London, England.

Radio channel: report RFI – Radio France International February 2010
KCUR News, Kansas City, interviewed by Maria Carter, 2005.
BBC Interview interviewed by James Sasse. (7/1992).
BBC World Service for Africa, Spice Taxi interviewed by Silvia Smith (7/1992).

Video / TV Documentary:
Artes e Espectáculos, cultural magazine, TV channel: RTP Africa, (April 2010)
Latitudes, cultural magazine TV channels: RTP Africa (February 2010)
Nós, cultural magazine dedicated to multiculturalism TV channel: RTP 2, (February 2010)
Artgrease, interviewed by Carolyn Tennant , Hallwalls, Buffalo, U.S.A. (2006)
Interview / documentary by Doran Ross, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, California. (2001)
Documentary film by Dawn Burgraff and Cassie Seimet. (2001).

Sources include: 

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