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Samuel Adoquei painting in a demonstration at the National Academy of Design, c. 2010 Courtesy of Samuel Adoquei

This is the first museum retrospective of artist Samuel Adoquei (b. 1964), a Ghanaian-born, New York-based painter who has shown work in museums and galleries across the United States. Adoquei’s major portraits and history paintings are at once ambitious, provocative, and technically masterful. His power lies below the surface of his compositions. Whether depicting a stately tree, a vase full of flowers, or a distinctively featured face, he seizes the spirit of his subject matter, powerfully. Finding Hidden Treasures will feature almost 30 works by Adoquei, including his significant 10’-wide triptych The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., a painting featured in the New York Times and displayed at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Born in Accra, Ghana, Adoquei came to New York City in 1987 to continue his education and won the Gold Medal in Oil Painting and Best Traditional Oil Painting awards at the Knickerbockers Artists Annual International Exhibition. He eventually taught at the National Academy of Design, and is still the first and only African artist to teach at all of New York’s major art institutions and academies (in addition to N.A.D., the Art Students League, New York Academy of Art, and the Educational Alliance). Adoquei has been commissioned to complete portraits of prominent public figures, such as the politician Stacey Abrams. 

On Long Island, Dr. James Watson (who discovered the molecular structure of DNA) invited Adoquei to paint views of Cold Spring Harbor for the exhibition “Science and Art come Together” (2000). Over the years, he has done additional landscape paintings of scenes at Shelter Island and East Hampton, several of which will be seen in this exhibition.

 

Exhibition funding was provided, in part, by:

The NYCB Foundation
New York State Council on the Arts
Robert W. Baird Incorporated
The Carol & Arnold Wolowitz Foundation