Ablade Glover (1934-), Ghana


, 2000

Oil on canvas

40 1/4 x 30 in. (102 x 76 cm)


Signed and dated lower center

About the artist

Born in 1934 in Accra, Ghana, where he lives and works, Ablade Glover graduated from the Kumasi University of Science and Technology, the Central School of Art and Design in London (1959-1962), and the University of Newcastle on Tyne (1964-1965). Glover taught at the College of Art of Kumasi University until 1998 where he became Head of Department and Dean of the School of Fine Arts.

Ablade Glover’s work reveals his vibrant passion for life, activity and color. Using warm impastoed pigments to express the sun and heat of his country, Glover depicts animated landscapes that mirror the exuberant diversity of Africa: its bustling market stalls, brightly attired crowds, and the dynamic energy that is Ghana. Glover’s favorite themes are constant: market scenes that in his eyes are the link between the village and the city, the past and the present, crowds and landscapes, the women and mothers from Africa. His compositions seem at first abstract but at a certain distance appear very realistic, teeming with life and colors. According to his gallerist, Glover’s painting technique reflects a very Western style and classicism, swirling between abstraction and realism. Using the warm hues of his country, he portrays vibrant scenes of Ghanaian life.(Simone Guirandou)

In the artist’s own words: “In the beginning of my career, I would mix colours and then apply it to the canvas. Then I progressed to mixing the same colours, so I would work with varying tones. I am now doing something which surprises me: working with contrasting colours. The colours I am putting on the canvas now almost look crazy together. When I stand back now, and I look at the work, I can see the evolution. There is a shift, in that I am experimenting with new colours, but the subject matter stays the same. The crowd has been my love. I will continue to paint the crowd movement and the crowd spirit. […] I was drawn to the market; it is intriguing, the way the crowds move and how the colours change. There is a tempo and an energy that strikes me as an artist. When I went to the market, I was not so much trying to paint the people, I was trying to paint the energy. I am still exploring the market, I don’t think I’ve reached the end.” (Sotheby’s 2019)

Ablade Glover received the Flagstar Award from the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) in 1998 and was also honored with the Alumni Award from the African-American Institute in New York. He is a permanent member of the Royal Society of Arts in London. He has been exhibited extensively in West Africa; Europe; the USA; and Japan. Glover also occupies a major position in Ghana’s contemporary art scene, as Founder and Director of the internationally acclaimed Artists Alliance Gallery in Accra, Ghana. This gallery, which showcases Glover's works, also exhibits the works of other famous artists such as Owusu-Ankomah and George O. Hughes, as well as local handicrafts.

Loui Simone Gallery. “Ablade Glover: Biography.” Accessed May 3, 2023.

Adriana La Lime. “Ablade Glover on Ghana’s Art Scene and His Own Pioneering Work.” Sotheby’s. October 14, 2019.