El Anatsui (born 1944) weaves colorful metal tapestries from reclaimed bottle caps and bits of wire, reminiscent of Kente cloth, a banded traditional fiber made predominantly by the West African Akan people of the Ashante Kingdom. While born and raised in Ghana, El Anatsui has spent most of his artistic career in Nsukka, Nigeria where he has reinterpreted the important history of textiles of West African culture. These metal tapestries are woven from metal liquor bottles, referencing the tradition of venerating and honoring ancestors of with a libation of alcohol. The use of found materials also reflects his beliefs in repurposing and transformation, helping him and the viewer transcend the limitations of place while simultaneously referencing colonialism, consumption and waste.
El Anatsui received his Bachelor of Arts and postgraduate diploma in Art Education at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He has received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale and is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the British Museum.
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TEXTURESA Print & Fiber Showcase 25 Jun - 31 Jul 2021Textiles are as complex as they are quotidian. We interface with fiber constantly (it’s enveloping you right now) but seldom investigate our longstanding bond with material. Within their threaded DNA,...
ChromoAnnual Winter/Spring Print Show 31 Jan - 4 Jul 2020El Anatsui, Mel Bochner, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Sol LeWitt, Mark Mulroney, Bruce Nauman, Louise Nevelson, Mimmo Paladino, Hayal Pozanti, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Ed Ruscha, Jonas Wood at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Folio29 Nov 2019 - 14 Feb 2020Zane Bennett Contemporary announces its annual group exhibition , which features Zane Bennett Gallery staff favorites from the 2019 collection, including Judy Chicago's Birth Tear/Tear and Ghada Amer and Reza...
El Anatsui: Recent Works26 Apr - 13 Sep 2019“If you touch something, you leave a charge on it,” says El Anatsui. “And anybody else touching it connects with you, in a way.” Woven with recycled aluminum and copper...
El Anatsui Wins Skowhegan Medal for SculptureSeptember 20, 2020El Anatusi, a Nigerian artist born in Ghana is known for his large-scale metal woven tapestries hung in galleries and museums around the world. He...
El Anatsui at Haus der KunstPrinzregentenstraße 1, Munich March 8, 2019With El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, Haus der Kunst shows the most comprehensive and detailed presentation of El Anatsui's oeuvre thus far. Occupying the entire East...
Collector Spotlight: Ben JakoberMarch 18, 2021For our second installment of Collector Spotlight, a series of interviews exploring the philosophies of remarkable arts supporters, we spoke with Ben Jakober of Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober. Jakober and his wife Yannick Vu, who are both artists, established the foundation in 1993 in Majorca, Spain. The foundation's primary initiative is the Sa Blassa Blanca Museum, which houses the couple's ever-expanding collection. The Jakobers started their collection with portraits of children from the16th to the 19th centuries, and later expanded to modern and contemporary art. The museum's contemporary wing...