El Anatsui, Blue Variation, pigment print with hand collage and copper wire, 25 x 32 x 4
“Art is regarded as life and life is not a static thing,” says El Anatsui (b. 1944.) “[Art] should come in a form that you can play around with and manipulate and change as the location demands.”
El Anatsui rose to prominence in the 90s, subverting the notion that metal is a stiff, rigid medium by manipulating the material into soft, pliable forms that arch and curve throughout their environment.
The Ghanian artist’s Blue Variation exemplifies this creed, as the print curves upon itself, revealing an undulating fringe of silver.
Woven with recycled aluminum and copper wire, Anatsui’s iconic garment-like sculptures have been exhibited internationally, with a recent installation on the facade of the Carnegie Museum. In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Biennale. He is the first Ghanian to receive the Praemium Imperiale.
Composed of hand-collaged paper elements and linked, like his prolific bottle cap sculptures, with copper wire, Blue Variation is notable for its unfixed orientation. Each distinct side can be experienced from multiple points of view.