El Anatsui was born in Anyanko, Ghana in 1944. Many of Anatsui’s sculptures are mutable in form, conceived to be so free and flexible that they can be shaped in any way and altered in appearance for each installation. Working with wood, clay, metal, and—most recently—the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art.
“Earth’s Skin” (2007)/Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.
– El Anatsui, 2003
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, b. 1944). Earth’s Skin, 2007. Aluminum and copper wire, 177 x 394 in. (449.6 x 1000.8 cm). Courtesy of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, b. 1944). Amemo (Mask of Humankind) (detail), 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, 208 5/8 x 161 3/8 in. (529.9 x 409.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photograph by Andrew McAllister, courtesy of the Akron Art Museum
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, b. 1944). Gli (Wall), 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, installation at the Brooklyn Museum, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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