ArtReview: Ibrahim Mahama and blaxTARLINES make it to Art’s most powerful list

Ghanaian Artist, Ibrahim Mahama and the blaxTARLINES collective are making Ghana really proud in the art world.

The pair have been listed in the 21st edition of ArtReview’s Power 100; a prestigious list compiled by over 30 panellists and collaborators across the globe.

According to the international contemporary art magazine based in London, the team selects the top 100 based on 3 distinctive criteria including an active career in the year under review, their body of work in shaping the developments of art as well their global impact.

“This year, the compilers of the Power 100 noted that power no longer only accrues to those securely at the top of their respective hierarchies, but also to those who disrupt the usual way of doing things,” the article read.

READ MORE: Ibrahim Mahama’s Red Clay Studios has public contemporary art exhibition

Mahama, who is famous for his monumental installations including his jute bags draping over buildings was listed as number 47 in 2022 jumping from the 67th position in the previous year. He is recognized for helping to build an infrastructure for the thriving art scene back home in Ghana.

Earlier this year, as the founder of Red Clay Studios, he purchased used planes for $ 1 million using funds from the sale of his art to be used as learning centres for students and the community.

“For Oude Kerk, situated in Amsterdam’s oldest (deconsecrated) church, Mahama produced a series of casts and rubbings of the gravestones, alongside those of the floors and walls of Dutch forts along the Ghanaian coast. If Mahama was just shining a light on colonial pasts, it would be one thing, but his practice intertwines with ideas of renewal, evident not least in the three institutions he operates just outside his home city of Tamale: Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art, Red Clay Studio and Nkrumah Volini. (The latter is described as an ‘institute for archaeological memories, ecological ideas/forms and thinking future forms’.),” his profile read on the website.

blaxTARLINES, which also boasts of Mahama as a member was listed as number 98. The Artist Collective is an “Organisational network and incubator for art in Ghana and as a template for independent art scenes around the world”

In a post on Instagram, Mahama shared that, “over the years members have dedicated countless hours of labour to inspire a generation of artists like myself while establishing new connections.”

Other Artists with Ghanaian heritage who made the list include Architect David Adjaye and Linda Boakye-Yiadom for her singular approach to Literature.


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