The Guggenheim Museum acquired a portrait painting by Amoako Boafo.

Justin Kamp
Aug 13, 2020 4:19PM, via Mariane Ibrahim Gallery
Amoako Boafo
Joy Adenike, 2019
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

The Guggenheim Museum has acquired a painting by the rising star painter Amoako Boafo, his gallery Mariane Ibrahim announced on Wednesday. Joy Adenike (2019), a large portrait painting rendered in Boafo’s trademark and vivid finger-painted style, entered the museum’s collection in recent weeks, marking another career milestone for the young artist. According to a spokesperson for Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, the Guggenheim acquisition process began at the time of last year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach fair.

Boafo, who is based in Accra and Vienna, had his first solo show in the United States just last year, after Kehinde Wiley recommended the artist to his gallery Roberts Projects. By the end of 2019, Boafo had been curated by Nina Chanel Abney into a group show at Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles, sold out a solo booth with Mariane Ibrahim at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and was named the Rubell Museum’s inaugural artist-in-residence. February of 2020 saw his secondary market debut, when The Lemon Bathing Suit (2019) sold at Phillips postwar and contemporary art evening sale in London for £675,000 ($875,000), smashing its high estimate of £50,000 ($64,800) by a factor of more than 13.

The acquisition comes amidst a period of upheaval for the Guggenheim, which last month hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the museum’s management practices after upper management was accused of racist and abusive tactics. The accusations came to light after Chaédria LaBouvier, the first Black woman to curate an exhibition at the museum in its history, accused chief curator and artistic director Nancy Spector of fostering a hostile work environment during the museum’s 2019 Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition. LaBouvier called working with Spector “the most racist professional experience of [her] life.”

Update: August 13th, 2020

This story has been updated to include information provided by a spokesperson for Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

Further Reading: Amoako Boafo Is Navigating Art-World Success While Lifting up the African Diaspora

Justin Kamp
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019