Sunday, February 10, 2013

El Anatsui: Flowing Light and Form

Ghanaian-born, Nigerian based artist El Anatsui's work that came to prominence at the Venice Biennial opened at the Brooklyn Museum this weekend.

Anatsui was born in Anyako, and trained at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, in central Ghana. He began teaching at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1975, and has become affiliated with the Nsukka group.

Anatsui's preferred media are clay and wood, which he uses to create objects based on traditional Ghanaian beliefs and other subjects. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches; more recently, he has turned to installation art. Some of his works resemble woven cloths such as kente cloth. Anatsui also incorporates uli and nsibidi into his works alongside Ghanaian motifs.

Flowing forms, metal that captures and plays with light filled with color and evocative of folk art, a mixed bag of Western and African implications and references with a deep strain of post-industrial wonder.

--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Photos by Tony Napoli







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