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el anatsui wood sculpture

‘At first I was ignoring the colors of the various caps – the red, black, white, and yellow were all there. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches. But he challenges the traditional notions of sculpture as a three-dimensional and static art. Photo : Uche James Iroha.People passed without noticing. We learned about the Renaissance. But for El, the puncturing and burning of the wooden slats and the brutal marks made with a chainsaw refer to the history of Africa and most specifically to the 1884 Berlin Conference, when colonial powers divided the continent. As a human being, you age and change.

‘In Venice, the work was outside for six months, and when it came back I saw that salt and wind had affected it, it had a patina of age. ‘I believe in the element of change. ‘I thought of tearing things into bits and pieces.’ The use of found objects is not new to the African continent. Eventually, alcohol became one of the items used in the transatlantic slave trade.’ El Anatsui came of age after independence. This series was An… Especially with kente cloth, which consists in narrow woven strips sown together. But El stopped to pick up the dusty bag filled with discarded bottle tops, and turned them into gold.

We felt something was missing. ‘I was looking for something ethereal. This drove him to pursue clay as a medium. El Anatsui is a Ghanaian sculptor active for much of his career in Nigeria.

Instead of objects, his flexible structures adapt to their surroundings, whether indoors or outdoors. El Anatsui began using the chain saw as a tool in 1980 during a residency at the Cummington Community Arts in Cummington, Massachusetts. Anatsui uses clay, wood and found objects to create sculptures based on traditional Ghanaian beliefs and other subjects. In the process, you develop a language.’Aesthetically and in terms of meaning El seems to be driven by the properties of the material itself. On the fabric these symbols are repeated, but I isolated one and reproduced it in the middle of a wooden tray, as a way to reinforce its meaning.’Subsequently, El invented symbols of his own. Aluminum and copper wire, 165 3 ⁄ 8 x 212 5 ⁄ 8 in. Most of the time, art has a huge element of play in it. Without knowing it, El was raised by his aunt and uncle. My artworks should reflect this. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photograph by Kazuo Fukunaga, courtesy of National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka; The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura and Hayama; The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; The Yomiori Shimbun and … ‘Originally Adinkra symbols were printed on fabrics worn at funerals.

They had to say something about life! In Sculpture I the artist has used a chain saw to divide and shape camel thorn wood, a wood that is native to Southern Africa. It made us richer to know about western and African art.’El was delighted when he discovered the indigenous Adinkra symbols, which represent concepts or aphorisms. El’s real father had thirty-two children from five different wives. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches. ... After his wood sculptures, El started to work with discarded bottle tops. You can’t bump into his work.

It was there right from the beginning.

In traditional African art, materials like wood, skin, and feathers came from around them.El’s work often consists of fragments, pieced together into a whole, which also has a personal motivation. After Anatsui's move from Winnebato Nsukka to pursue a career in education at the University of Nigeria, wood became less accessible to him. Photo by Erik Lasalle.Portrait of El Anatsui, 2008.

‘Who was I?’ he wondered. El Anatsui Totems, 2004 African Greenheart wood . My spirit is lifted. At 56 years old, he rose to fame by transforming thousands and thousands of bottle caps into monumental luminous structures alluding, in the shape of beauty, to global abstraction, the history of Africa, indigenous textiles, and life as a process of change.

His "Broken Pots: Sculpture by El Anatsui" was a series of vessels formed from shards of existing and created pottery.

Some of his works resemble woven cloths such as Anatsui said that in developing his art he looked for "something that had more relationship to me, as someone growing up in an African country".A Western art critic has said that Anatsui's bottle tops could be compared to "Anatsui's career grew gradually, starting in his home village of Anatsui has since exhibited his work around the world, including at the In 1995, Anatsui held his first solo exhibition outside of Anatsui was selected to be a member of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) world council in 1992 for his work in education.

(420.1 × 540.1 cm). You can’t bump into his work. After Anatsui's move from

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