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 El Anatsui  (1944 - )

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Lived/Active: Ghana/Nigeria      Known for: fabric image abstract sculpture and painting, site-specific

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

El Anatsui (born 1944) is a Ghanaian sculptor active for much of his career in Nigeria. He 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.

El Anatsui has exhibited his work around the world, including at the Clark Art Institute (2011), Rice University Art Gallery, Houston (2010), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2008–09); National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. (2008); Venice Biennale (2007); Hayward Gallery (2005); Liverpool Biennial (2002); the National Museum of African Art (2001); the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (2001); the 8th Osaka Sculpture Triennale (1995); the 5th Gwangju Biennale (2004); and the Venice Biennale (1990).

A retrospective of his work, subtitled "When I Last Wrote to You About Africa" opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, in October 2010. It will be touring North America for the next 3 years.
A major exhibition of recent works, entitled "Gravity & Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui," had its New York premier at the Brooklyn Museum in February 2013. Organized by the Akron Art Museum (exhibition: 2012), the exhibition was later to be viewed at the Des Moines Art Center (2013–14) and the Bass Museum of Art in Miami (2014).

Source:
"El Anatsui", Wikipedia, //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Anatsui (Accessed 10/1/2013)


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