Today I am going to talk a little bit about these beautiful sculpture tapestries created by the genius El Anatsui. Every tapestry is made from tops of evaporated milk tins, rusty metal graters and old printing plates, liquor bottle caps, all gathered in and around Nsukka, Nigeria, where the artist has lived and worked for the last 28 years. All of the cutting, manipulating, and reattaching of these different metals culminate into stunning, visual feasts. The tapestries’ aesthetics are inspired by traditions of Ghana and Nigeria.
Though his work is based in West African societies and practices the commentary of his work transcends to any society. “Through their associations, his humble metal fragments provide a commentary on globalization, consumerism, waste and the transience of people’s lives in West Africa and beyond. Their re-creation as powerful and transcendent works of art–many of which recall traditional practices and art forms–suggests as well the power of human agency to alter such harmful patterns.” (from National Museum of African Art)
El Anatsui will be hosting a North American Tour beginning this October. The show When I Last Wrote To You About Africa will consist of 60 El Anastui’s sculptures which were pulled from public and private collections, and will cover over 40 years of El Anastui’s work.
October 2, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Winter 2011 – Museum for African Art, in New York
November 12, 2011 – February 5, 2012 – The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor
March 8 – June 17, 2012 – The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
September 2 – December 1, 2012 – The Denver Art Museum