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Maker: Alexander "Skunder" Boghossian
1937-2003, born Ethiopia
Spring Scrolls
Date: 1983-1984
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: H x W: 128 x 182.2 cm (50 3/8 x 71 3/4 in.)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Geography: Ethiopia
Object Number: 91-18-1
Search Terms:
Exhibited: Healing Arts

In 1980, Boghossian began to play with the compositions, iconographies and colorings of Ethiopian talismanic parchment scrolls. Skunder creates a new pictorial order for these forms and endows the otherwise static scrolls with energy. His choice of color enlivens them, highlighting the intricacy and patterning of details. The results are strikingly different in palette and composition from earlier paintings on goatskins that often included mystical, Coptic and traditional Ethiopian imagery, Ge'ez and Amharic scripts, and bright, rich colors of reds, oranges and golds.

Painting on a horizontal rectangular canvas, using acrylic paint and depicting eleven bright multicolored strips hanging from two orange rods against a white background covered with grey-green twisting forms.

Alexander "Skunder" Boghossian, Washington, D.C., 1983-84 to 1991


Healing Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 2016 - ongoing



Encounters with the Contemporary, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., January 7, 2001-January 6, 2002


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