El Anatsui

Ghanaian, b. 1944

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El Anatsui

Ghanaian, b. 1944

5,331
Followers
Biography

A critically acclaimed mixed-media artist, El Anatsui gained worldwide recognition in the early 2000s for his shimmering, monumental wall hangings, visual feasts rich with associations to Africa, Europe, and America. These expansive sheets, hung in undulating swags and blocky folds, are composed of countless bits of brightly colored metal, the salvaged caps of liquor bottles, which Anatsui and his team form into shapes, then link together with copper wire. A cross between painting, tapestry, and sculpture, the hangings grew out of his earlier investigations into re-purposing scrap materials, with their attendant cultural associations. “The link between Africa, Europe, and America is very much part of what is behind my work with bottle caps,” Anatsui explains, referencing the fraught connection between the sale of slaves and liquor, and the transformative power of his art to link everyone involved in its creation.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Brooklyn Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 5 more
Biography

A critically acclaimed mixed-media artist, El Anatsui gained worldwide recognition in the early 2000s for his shimmering, monumental wall hangings, visual feasts rich with associations to Africa, Europe, and America. These expansive sheets, hung in undulating swags and blocky folds, are composed of countless bits of brightly colored metal, the salvaged caps of liquor bottles, which Anatsui and his team form into shapes, then link together with copper wire. A cross between painting, tapestry, and sculpture, the hangings grew out of his earlier investigations into re-purposing scrap materials, with their attendant cultural associations. “The link between Africa, Europe, and America is very much part of what is behind my work with bottle caps,” Anatsui explains, referencing the fraught connection between the sale of slaves and liquor, and the transformative power of his art to link everyone involved in its creation.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Brooklyn Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 5 more
Shows Featuring El Anatsui
Articles Featuring El Anatsui
What Sold at Frieze New York Online
May 12th, 2020
10 Textile Artists Who Are Pushing the Medium Forward
Oct 31st, 2016
Painting and Young Artists Prevail at Contemporary Istanbul’s 10th Edition
Nov 17th, 2015
Adrian Piper and Armenia Take Golden Lions, But Does the Prize Matter?
May 9th, 2015
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