El Anatsui (b. 1944, Ghana) weaves colorful metal tapestries from reclaimed bottle caps and bits of wire. His practice finds inspiration in Kente cloth, the traditional fiber produced by the Akan people of the Ashante Kingdom, and reinterprets the important history of textiles in West African culture. Woven from metal liquor bottles, the tapestries reference the tradition of venerating and honoring ancestors with a libation of alcohol.  The use of found materials also reflects his beliefs in repurposing and transformation, thus transcending the limitations of place while simultaneously referencing colonialism, consumption and waste.


El Anatsui received his BA and postgraduate diploma in Art Education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. The artist has received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Annual Venice Biennale. His works can be found in a number of prestigious institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the British Museum (London) and the Guggenheim Museum (Abu Dhabi). He currently lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria.




  • Contemporary Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu reflects on themes of cultural trauma and environmental destruction in her work. View her work.
  • In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, contemporary sculptor and jeweler MJ Tyson repurposes castoff metals in innovative ways. View her work.